4 customer experience hacks your company can use right now (guest post)

Sqr One shares common ground with Studio Culture. We both work with our clients to help them think broadly about the needs of their customers, creating the kind of meaningful customer experience that keeps a customer coming back - not just because they like your services, but because they feel an authentic, personal connection to them.

Whenever we meet with a new client for the first time, we immediately look for their unique qualities and start thinking about ways to foreground them in the customer’s overall experience.

 It’s important, however, that you have a well-defined idea of what makes your business stand out from the competitors. You need to be sure so that your customers can be, too.

 Go ahead and start implementing these CX hacks and enhance the way your customers interact with your brand now.

Identify your “touchpoints” and optimise them

Particularly when we’re talking about e-commerce, there are specific “touchpoints” that flow throughout your CX. These touchpoints can be anything from the way your web design flows, to whom or what they’re greeted with when they call you - simply, anything that guides the customer through the experience.

To optimise CX, we aim for clear, seamless touchpoints that let the user naturally find what they’re looking for. What we really try to nail, though, is the fluidity between the web design and content.

We design and optimise our content to elicit a positive reaction from customers, every step of the way - because an interaction with any kind of content from your brand is a touchpoint in itself.

What qualities will your content have in order to achieve that positivity? Set yourself some basic criteria. For us, it’s just three things:

  • Simplicity: The customer needs to understand you in simple terms.
  • Directness: The customer needs to be clearly targeted by the content.
  • Usefulness: The content needs to be useful - the customer can go out and do something they didn’t know about beforehand, or fulfill the call-to-action.

Think like a customer, not like a company

Customers now have more power and information at their fingertips than ever before. This can be an intimidating prospect, but with the right outlook, you can take advantage of the uniquely saturated contemporary market before your competitors do.

“Customer experience is defined by the customer, for the customer, at each touchpoint, each time.” - Esteban Kolsky

If you’re not already familiar with his work, check out Esteban Kolsky, CEO of thinkJar. He’s researching the shift away from “company-centric” principles in business - a trend that’s currently having a ripple effect across the marketing landscape. His overall thesis? Companies that embrace the customer’s perspective are resonating much more with the modern day consumer.

Sounds good to us.

Encourage feedback

Making sure your customers have a platform to review their experience is essential. Encouraging them to use it is even more so.

Offer things like rewards and discounts for their taking time out to reflect on their experience. Acknowledge the fact that their feedback is invaluable to you.

When the good reviews start rolling in, think about innovative ways to promote them. These function as completely authentic forms of social proof, so make sure they’re visible for as many potential customers as possible.

We do this by highlighting our social proof on the landing pages of our websites. Emphasise quotes from customers and place them where they can easily be seen - ideally, right next to a CTA button. Respond thankfully and articulately to positive (or even negative) reviews on Facebook. The results from implementing this will surprise you.  

Be relatable

Whether we realise it or not, every customer experience is an emotional one. For some reason, this is also one of the most overlooked components of CX.

You’ve thought about what you want your customers to get out of their experience with you. Next, think about what you want them to feel. Go beyond simplistic reactions like “satisfaction” or “being impressed”. Find an authentic way for your customers to relate to you.

Present your company as a group of individual people, and promote their individual qualities. This is the customer-centric approach that’s going to win over your target market for the long-term and distinguish you from a sea of competitors.

About us

If you’ve found this post useful, stay tuned to our blog for more hacks on digital marketing, social media, SEO and web design, as well as news, guest posts, video content and more.

Studio Culture is an end-to-end digital marketing agency currently based in Brisbane’s CBD. We work with our ever-growing roster of national and international clients to build their online presence, expand their customer base and nail their goals - week in, week out.

Offering website development, website design, SEO, social media services and more, we use clear strategy and industry-leading techniques to establish our unique clients’ respective visions online. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in contact and say hey!

'5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 70%' (Bain & Co).

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Customer centricity is definitely a very big term that has been around for a while but can seem a little foreign to many small and medium size companies.

Here is the thing. If you are people centric and genuinely care about other people as much as you care about yourself (and probably your kids, family, dog, maybe friends?), then you are half way there in having a business that truly delivers a meaningful experience and connects with your customers.

Being customer centric or having a connected marketing approach it’s really about thinking of your audience first, having an ‘outside in’ approach instead of becoming too focused on yourself/your business and ignoring your customers’ needs. 

Thinking of your customers first and maximising their lifetime value (we will get into this in a moment don’t panic) really delivers not just long term economic worth in your business but also makes it hard for your customers not to think of you next time.

It’s also clear that by responding to your customers’ needs you’re really elevating your voice in the crowd making it harder for your competitors to replicate the same experience.

Customers are expecting personalised and memorable experiences that make them feel warm and 'almost' excited. Forrester said it right : We are at the age of the customer'. Companies aren't in control as much as they were and customers are in control. Like it or not!

So all of this sounds lovely but is being customer centric better for your business? Hell yeah! A bunch of research proves a more connected relationship with your customers can help with:

1. Customer satisfaction and loyalty - incremental revenue by referrals and recurrent customers

2. Delivering a unique and personal experience – this drives referrals and recurrent business from satisfied customers. 80% of customers agree overall experience is #1 factor in whether they purchase a product or service (Forrester research)

3. Revenue and profitability - maintaining a strong market share and profits. 78% of customers agree that they’d pay more for a product or service if they knew they’d have a positive and unique experience with the brand – Forrester research 

4. Leadership - brand positioning that makes you stand out from the crowd

5. Staff retention and culture: a happier team means a happy boss and customers

Not convinced yet? Call me, email me or meet for coffee to understand your business and decide if a more connected marketing strategy is the right fit for you. 

Written by Ale Wiecek, Founder, CX & Digital Marketing Strategist at Sqr One

5 Planning Hacks for a Successful 2017

As it’s the beginning of the year and most of us are making (or planning to make) big changes in our lives, whether personal or business related, we really need to get the basics right for successful implementation to ensure 2017 is the best year yet!

So, how can we stick to our promises? How can we truly commit and follow through a goal that we have set for ourselves? Whether it’s to lose weight, practice yoga more often, have more date nights with hubby, get more clients, be more socially involved with our businesses, be less grumpy (blaming the kids on this one), eat less hot dogs (why?), grow your followers from X to Z in the next 6 months, whatever it is, how can you really make it happen?

I believe staying in the present moment and focusing on the today task is the number one solution for really sticking to your goals. When we think of the big goal as a task, it’s really hard to visualise success (well, at least in my opinion, it may not be the same for you). I personally need little steps to get me there, little tasks and actions that I know will work as a ladder system for me to reach the top of my never ending mountain of goals.

Don’t get me wrong, I am THE procrastination queen and I often create ‘tasks’ for myself that are neither needed nor required which can steer me away from real tasks that are valuable to my life and my business. BUT, I also love micro goals, I love to break down a big task into actionable steps so I know I will get from A to B successfully.

 So whatever task you have set yourself to achieve in 2017, I would encourages you to: 

1.     Break a big goal into actionable steps

Write down you top 3 goals for the year, and break them down into quarters, into months, into weeks and into days. I use Asana or Trello depending on how I would like to manage my week, but both are really efficient to get you started. Don’t skip this part, even if it takes you days. This is really important and perhaps what’s really going to make you feel at peace for the rest of the year.

 2.     Ensure you celebrate small wins (and failures) even if seem irrelevant

Whether it’s a gratitude jar or, a ‘win and fail’ board, a call to a friend or a high-five to a colleague, make sure you encourage yourself and people around you to celebrate wins and screw ups. A no blame culture for the mistakes we make empowers employees to make decisions and learn from their mistakes, ensuring we are progressing and innovating in business and personally constantly.

3.     Get an accountability buddy (a real one)

Get someone who will check on your progress every now and then if you think are the type of person who needs someone to check on you. I do. I like to get someone to make me accountable for what I promised to so. Make sure you check either daily, weekly or fortnightly. Make the catch-ups short and sweet, with the following structure: spend 10% talking about the ‘what’ (the actual task or problem), 30% in the ‘so what’ (options and possibilities) and 60% on the ‘now what’ (solutions and actions). I am picking my Senior Project Manager husband for the task (he doesn’t know this yet).

4.     Reflect on what you have achieved and amend accordingly

Once a week, look back at what you have accomplished and become aware of any feelings around a particular task you hated or loved doing. If you hate it, can you pass it on to someone else, hire a person to do the task and focus on that makes you thrive? If you loved it, how can you do more of that, the things that you truly love doing?

5.     Be agile with your planning

Things change and that’s OK. I have before been particularly stuck when big things that I have planned for changed suddenly, but being agile it’s about being open to change and changing direction when needed, without really getting too caught up in the why. Use your reflection time to see what needs changing and amend your plan accordingly. 

The above are things that have worked for me but I am in no means an expert in the productivity field. I sometimes struggle to prioritise and stay focused (who doesn’t right?). So if you think you need further help, there are lots of professionals and resources that can help you with productivity, goal management and procrastination.

I personally use Jo Bendle’s planning calls and resources and Todd Herman’s 90 day year methodology.

Happy New Year guys and happy planning!

Written by Ale Wiecek, Founder, CX & Digital Marketing Strategist at Sqr One

Customer Service vs. Customer Experience: what is the difference?

The difference between Customer Experience and Customer Service can sometimes be overlooked and often mixed up. Even though they have very different roles and are triggered by different strategies and methodologies, they aren’t in fact too foreign to each other’s worlds.

By definition, Customer Experience (CX) is the outcome of all interactions between a customer and a service or product provider. It encapsulates all experiences during a customer journey and as such, CX uses a proactive approach to seek better ways to identify gaps and enhance the experience between people and brands.  So here, CX is by nature proactive. It ensures planning and processes are implemented so a business can truly understand a customer’s point of view, pains and gains in order to provide the best possible experience first time, every time.

 Customer Experience vs. Customer Service

Customer Experience vs. Customer Service

Customer Service on the other hand, uses a reactive approach, in the way that it doesn’t necessarily get your Customer Service manager out there seeking positive or negative feedback (apart from regular NPS scoring). A Customer Service team simply manages a customer complaint, feedback or query received and deals with it accordingly.

So as I said, they play very different roles but (big ‘but’ here) they fit into each other’s words, in the following ways:

A Customer Service team plays a very important role in the CX ecosystem of a company. It represents a channel of engagement and ultimately a touch point (if not several) between a customer and a company. It plays a very crucial role in the CX puzzle, having as much importance, if not more, than any of the marketing and communications channels used during a customer life cycle. If a customer query is badly managed and it doesn’t follow the CX principles and journeys stipulated by the business, then you are probably reducing your advocacy, loyalty and welcoming bad, very bad reviews (does this sound familiar?).

Customer service as well as marketing, operations, HR, transformation, IT play a key role in the CX journey of any company, whether big or small.

For SME’s and medium size businesses, it’s even more crucial how a bad review or customer feedback is dealt with. If resolution is poor, this can truly impact a business reputation and even sabotage future growth and customer acquisition.

Customer Service as any other communication and engagement channel between a company and their customers’ needs to align with a company’s overall purpose and CX. It is a reactive player in a proactive game.

Written by Ale Wiecek, Founder at Sqr One



When your business decides to embark upon a ‘digital first’ approach to their marketing strategy you will face many challenges, one might be to keep your sanity!  I have had first-hand experience of managing two large, multi-million dollar, Omni-Channel and digital transformation projects and I must say, it wasn’t an easy ride.

Digital transformation projects can apply to all types of businesses, big or small, established or just started.  But they need to be managed right.  After the thrill of hearing the words ‘Project Approved’, after being told that management is completely on board, after getting super excited about the possibilities for innovation and transforming the business for the better, you can risk losing your enthusiasm.

You see, immediate, tangible evidence of digital transformation isn’t really going to happen.  This is not a fast-food strategy.  This is an all day, slow-cooked, wait ‘til the meat is falling off the bone approach.  To make sure it tastes amazing at the end will take a long time and probably a lot of money.  You’ll need a huge amount of patience and faith in the process but the results will be worth it.

To transform a business from top to bottom takes sweat, tears, commitment, a lot of time, more tears and a very, very driven management team (local and or global) fully on board. Without the highest levels of management believing or initiating the project to start with, your transformation journey will very likely fail, and very quickly. And even when management has a clear vision and intention to change, a lot of ‘things’ get in the way.  

IT, for example, was one of those ‘things’ that got in the way when I was trying to make headway on my projects.  Forget the look in the IT team’s faces the moment you tell them the business is committed to making changes and hence their involvements and participation is required. Forget issues like dated systems that were being band-aided with millions of dollars, simply because of legacy within the company and not because of the front facing experience that was being provided to users. Forget poor reiteration techniques, or no reiteration techniques at all. Forget lengthy discovery phases from very expensive digital agencies that simply fail to show results quickly enough.  Remember how good the food will taste at the end!

If you are thinking of starting a digital transformation journey within your business, or you have already started and are struggling to breathe then here are a few tip to make your digital transformation projects successful ones:

1.       Confirm the digital and innovation knowledge and vision of your management

Even when CEO’s, MD’s, Vice-President’s of Marketing, etc., are driving your digital transformation project they may not necessarily have the knowledge, vision and muscle that’s required to understand the complexity and breadth of an Omni-Channel project. You must ensure that the decision makers in your business are trained and up to date with digital, customer experience principles and human-centred design. Also, having an ‘on-boarding’ program will significantly minimise any misconceptions or misunderstanding along the way.

2.       Bring people on the journey

Having people boarding the digital transformation boat willingly and with excitement about the destination probably represents around 50% of any transformation project success. If people don’t believe in the project, ensure you are minimising friction, gain feedback and share why the business is doing what it’s doing. Make sure you get the various teams excited about the prospects of the project and show them tangible forecasts around profitably and brand impact before you get started.  Ensure you have an open line of communication with them and make sure that management is leading the conversation. If it’s your little digital marketing or transformation team leading the project and your management team is too busy to talk to their employees about the impact this is going to have to them, then people will never jump on board. They may feel at risk and insecure and it is the responsibility of management to confound these fears and explain the greater benefits to the business and to their careers.

3.       Work with management to align your team.  Make sure it is structured around the workload

If your day to day role responsibilities haven’t decreased and you have a transformation project added to your job description overnight then, I’m afraid, it’s not going to work.  You and your team will very quickly burnout. Have an honest and commercially driven conversation with management about the structural changes required to make it happen.  Do this early and you will save yourself a bucket load of stress, far fewer twelve hours work days and you’ll also give yourself a far greater chance of success. Identify the tasks needed, bring in inexpensive subcontractors for basic tasks when necessary and keep your mind focused on the conclusion.

Internal politics, culture, personal agendas, change of budgets and just general busyness can easily get in the way of success in a digital transformation process. Its how you deal with these situations and how quickly you educate your staff on what’s to come that’s going to bring light at the end of the tunnel.

Make sure you keep up the excitement, perhaps have a contagious chart to see how many people are as passionate and pumped about the changes that are yet to come as you are.

Written by Ale Wiecek, Founder at Sqr One