For Sonos, a manufacturer of wireless speakers and home audio systems, customer experience (CX) is literally owned by everyone at the company. Everything revolves around CX.
Broadly put, the company engages with customers at two levels. The first is at the pre-purchase stage, when they educate potential customers so that buyers know exactly what they are getting. This minimises disappointment and product returns. They also make sure to support customers at the post-purchase stage. This way, they see to it that their customers get the best out of their products, making for a great CX and winning marketing strategy.
To optimise CX, Sonos focuses on five core areas, as outlined below.
Retail marketing: This is about the in-store experience. All sales terminals also have internet connectivity and a live version of the Sonos app to let prospective customers who walk in 'experience the magic', in Brand Manager Mark Sehler's own words. This way, trained staff become brand and product advocates.
Public relations: Sonos engages with journalists whom they see as 'friends'. This approach works - journalists see them the same way as well. Such friendly relations are a massive advantage when there is a new product launch - they don't write biased reviews, not when they know the product so well. Sonos also positions itself as a lifestyle brand, not a technology brand.
Customer care: Phone support is available to all customers setting up Sonos products or having issues with them, irrespective of what time or day it may be. Sonos has realised from experience that there is no point having a 9-5 helpline from Monday to Friday when it is beyond these times that their customers decide to experience Sonos' products.
Admin and finance: This is about dispatch and delivery on time to eliminate frustration, and also loyalty programs that involve discounts and extended warranty.
Brand experience: This is about using social media and email marketing. Instead of spam, they deliver information on how to download and install software updates for the best customer experience. Another way they keep in touch is by asking users for feedback, which they plough into product development - this works out for the best of the company as well as its customers. The latter genuinely feel they are part of a brand, and become its best brand ambassadors by recommending them to others.
Although this type of attention to customer experience may seem expensive, the true measure will be the return on Sonos’ investment.