Customer Experience Roundup, October 29, 2019

To secure new customers, many companies often resort to going for the biggest or best product or service. These moves tend to get lots of public attention but can be risky for actually staying afloat long term. This week saw three stories of bigger and better moves companies are making and the customer experience risks that come with the territory.

$5 Billion Mall Opens In New Jersey

After more than 15 years of design and construction, a huge $5 billion mall opened its doors to its first customers last week. American Dream in New Jersey is more than just a shopping center. It will also feature a Nickelodeon theme park, movie theater, indoor water park, ice rink and more once construction is completed. The space will eventually be divided into 55% entertainment and 45% retail and be the second-largest mall in the United States.

Developers hope the new mall can fight against the changing retail landscape, with stores closing their physical locations nearly every day and U.S. mall attendance recently hitting an eight-year low. The shift towards more entertainment space than retail space shows how customers want to go to malls for experiences instead of just for shopping. Offering entertainment for the entire family could entice more customers to come to the mall and set the stage for the future of mall shopping.

Record 19-Hour Flight Lands In Australia

Qantas Airlines recently finished its first test flight for the longest non-stop commercial passenger flight in history. Travelling from New York to Sydney, the flight lasted more than 19 hours and had 49 people on board. Crew and passengers were tested for how their bodies handled the long flight, including monitoring their melatonin levels and being put through exercise classes. The pilots, crew and passengers are also keeping daily logs of their health and wellbeing for the two weeks after the flight.

The success of the first test flight could pave the way for much longer flights, which would have a huge impact on the travel industry and customer experience. Qantas and other airlines are hoping to offer regular non-stop service between London, Sydney and New York within the next few years. Being able to offer a flight of that convenience that also includes a high level of service could disrupt the airline industry and lead to big changes for the other players.

Millennial Lifestyle To Get More Expensive

There’s no doubt that millennials have transformed how people live and shop. Their demographic has led to the growth of experiential retail, delivery services and the sharing economy. But as leading companies in these spaces, including WeWork, DoorDash and Uber, hit financial troubles, the price to maintain the established millennial lifestyle will likely increase. Companies targeting millennials have offered great incentives to new users for years, but the cost of offering perks is finally catching up to businesses and could be passed on to customers.

This example shows the risk of offering incredible perks and discounts. Instead of relying on building a great long-term customer experience, many startups focus on gaining customers fast and getting the attention of millennials. As many of those companies lose money and have to pass increased costs to their customers, they run the risk of being left behind or replaced. Millennials control a huge amount of consumer spending, so appealing to them and creating a great experience is a priority for many companies. However, in order to survive, companies need to build strong relationships instead of just offering incentives.

Making a big move can have a big impact on customers, but it can also crash and burn. These three stories show how brands are willing to go big to serve customers, even with the risks involved.

Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of two books including The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business.  Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.

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