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Keys to a successful customer/client experience

I intentionally visit different places to understand how everyone else is helping their customer/clients and how I can learn from them and improve my client’s experiences.

I am always fascinated by IKEA’s operation model and creative ideas to bring more joy and happiness to people’s life. Well, if you have ever bought any piece of IKEA products that required assembly, you would agree that it wasn’t fun at all to figure out how to put all the pieces together without missing some screws or dropping a tool on your foot. Having said that I still enjoy the assembly part because it’s like a game and let’s face it, they offered me to do the assembly part with additional cost, but I chose to do it myself.

Last weekend I had a quick visit to the new IKEA store near Sydney airport. It was so impressive that the layout, product placements, décor and everything else were identical to the Rhodes store and even the one I visited in Calgary, Canada. For a second, I thought I had been Tele-transported to their Rhodes store.

How do they do it so successfully?

  1. Attractive: Everything is exciting and engaging enough for me as a customer to want to know more about it and even engage with some products and get a taste of using it.

  2. Options: I love the variety of ideas and the fact that you feel that they’ve heard your thoughts somehow even though you may have not necessarily participated in any formal survey.

  3. Hear your Customer/Client: Right at the end of my fun exploration of IKEA I saw this quick question, “Did you get everything you came for today?” The keyword for me was “came for”.

  4. Focus: I learnt that most of the time, I might have offered too many things to my clients that I may have even confused them with having too many options. I want to focus on “Helping my clients get what they come for to see me, not what I think they can get.”

  5. One step at the time: It is tough for a visionary person to focus and do one thing at the time. I experienced it first-hand talking to my clients/friends/ colleges about so many ways of doing things, whereas I should focus on one step at the time.

The last thing might sound strange

  1. The Right music: I was almost dancing strolling through the IKEA store and unconsciously feeling happy and energised and even creative. How often do you go to a financial planners’ office and hear some music that can make you feel relax and comfortable (no Smoothfm radio station for me please).

Finally, aren’t clients seeing one of us, financial wizard creatures, to create a better, happier and more fun life for themselves and their love ones?

I shall continue my adventure of learning every day.

Hooria Goodarzi, UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia

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