We often write about your Experience Advantage. . . that ability to create extraordinary in-store and in-person experiences that resonate with your brides and community.

Though continually fine-tuning your approach is not easy, consumer preference studies confirm that it’s worth all the effort: today’s consumers are increasingly making decisions on the products and services they buy based on the “experience” factor. 

This is hardly news to any of us. . . But here’s one finding that adds a bit of weight, as presented by the customer service consulting firm Walker, in its report Customers/2020:


“The customer of 2020 will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience. 

Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs.”


And this conclusion:

“Customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.”


But here’s the key takeaway from all these studies: customer experience is not just one thing. And it’s constantly evolving.

More than a nicely presented store interior, more than a Facebook post of photos of your brides holding signs proclaiming “I said yes to the dress,” more than knowledgeable stylists and consultants, it encompasses every touch point with your bride. . . including how you handle the follow up in two critical situations: the acknowledgement/affirmation/celebration after she purchases; and with the bride who can’t or won’t make the decision to buy because you were the first store shopped, or because she has another appointment and wants to keep the party going.

The real frustration is obviously with the second scenario. . . getting those brides who have shopped you back in the store.

The solution (simply stated but difficult to execute): create a checklist of procedures for your staff’s follow-up communication to include the number of communications, what details specific to that bride’s search must be included, and when each follow up text or e-mail must be sent.

When your brides receive communications tailored to their shopping and buying history and personal profile, they’re more likely to click through to see what you have to offer. And delivering a highly personalized experience throughout the process reaches your brides how they want and expect to be reached.

Which, of course, is the goal of your Experience Advantage.