It is evidently clear from the discussion that customer experience is generated when the customer engages in “contact” with the company. This contact can be generated “directly”, that is through purchase of product/service, use of product/service and after sales service provided by the company. Contact can also be created “indirectly” where customer experience is created through means such as advertisement, promotion, reviews and recommendations. The internet is becoming an important tool in forming an indirect contact between the company and its customers and hence in creating customer experience in this modern business landscape. A flourishing customer experience can be created by entrenching all the company’s products with the company’s core value proposition. Another important nugget is that the expectations of the customer are shaped in part by the type of experience they’ve had with the company recently. So if they had a good experience, they will expect more out of the company and its product offerings. IKEA goes out of the way to create customer experience for its customers. Its website is welcoming and easy to navigate. It guides the customer through the whole process of coming to IKEA and making a purchase from the store. Things like “make a list before you leave home” and “make yourselves at home” serve to engage the customer in a warm and trusting relationship. Further, IKEA has an in-store restaurant in case customers get hungry. They also have a play area for kids where parents can leave them under supervision and shop at the store in peace. These little things may not seem much, but added up they add immense positive value to the store’s customer experience. They also offer very competitive prices for their products and make the whole process easier for the customers by allowing them to pay through several different modes; any of which is more convenient to the customer. Recently, IKEA has also launched an application for its catalogue to increase customer experience. The company has picked up on the changing trends and increasing reliance on and usage of cell phones and thus has launched a mobile app which will enable customers to “browse IKEA’s product range, check product information and stock availability”. Furthermore, what really makes IKEA great is it’s in-depth and accurate understanding of its customers. The store already incorporates everything the customer might need and keeps updating according to customer needs frequently. According to Berry et al., an important part of customer value is the emotional aspect of it. Although functionality is also important, emotions need to be managed with increased thoroughness to reap continuous benefits and form valuable and lasting relationships with the customer. But this effort will have to be thoroughly implied throughout the organization in order to show results; simply “tweaking” and putting in “isolated pockets” will not have the desired positive effects and result in a failed attempt to gain advantage of fruitful customer relations. In this aspect, IKEA puts forward one of its best moves as being a child friendly store.
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