How life coaching is redefining customer experience in 2015


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A few months ago, a speaker at an event, talked about a special experience he had with Virgin train. This special experience for this Virgin train customer did not take place at the ticket office or the first class cabin. It took place at the unlikeliest of places, your guess could be as good as mine- the toilet. Virgin trains had this caption affixed in their toilet: “Please don’t flush nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gums, old phones, unpaid bills, junk emails, your ex’s old sweater, hopes, dreams and goldfish.” He said to see this sent chills down his spine as the hopes and dreams aspect of the caption completely transformed his entire customer and life experience.

Virgin train funny and motivational captions

A week ago, I placed an order for a photo backdrop. The product arrived in time, but I was disappointed with the quality. As I unpacked the product, I saw a little card in the package that had this: “Be good to yourself, you worth a better life. Love your family and friends, the same as they love you. Never give up, do the best as you can, you will never regret doing it.” I read this over and over again. This transformed my experience. I was unimpressed with the product quality, but this card showed me how thoughtful the company was.

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In London, the train stations are also following this principle by having motivational and life quotes create memorable experiences for customers. The picture below indicates an example of how transport for London aims to create memorable customer experiences.

London underground inspirational quotes

Life coaching is conceived as an alliance between a coach and a client. The coach places the focus on the client and helps them discover their strengths and also inspires them to feel better about themselves.

How life-coaching is transforming customer experience

1) The feeling factor: Customers have feelings and will seek out companies that are sensitive to these feelings. McKinsey reveals that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. In most cases, we recall an experience with a store or brand, through the way the sales assistant made us feel and less about the price of the product. In the words of Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

2) The Identity factor: Do you view the people that buy your products as customers or individuals? Seeing them as customers is good but viewing them as individuals is better. This makes you show more interest in their life experiences and not just the transactional relationship. Your email marketing campaign is not solely based on your new products or services but sending them a goodwill mail. Wishing them happy thanksgiving (with no inference to your discounts or products), happy new month and so on. Don’t just be interested in how you can sell the next product to that customer but nurture that relationship with the individual.

3) The surprise factor: We all like surprises, pleasant surprises, of course! The speaker at the conference was shocked in a good way, by the sticker at the Virgin Toilet. You never walk into a toilet and expect to be inspired. I was surprised with the motivational card included in my product package, as I normally expect just an invoice. Creating pleasant surprises transforms the CX.

4) The unconventional factor: I love companies that try to be different. While other train companies are more focused on having enough toilet rolls in their toilets, Virgin trains were concerned with adding that little sticker that could make the day of so many customers. Thinking outside the box is critical. Customers notice when you are providing a thoughtful and differentiated experience.

5) The motivational factor: This is one of the most important elements to how life coaching is transforming the customer experience. We have our dreams, desires, fear and frustrations. Sometimes we feel a bit down when we fall short of reaching our goals. We need a bit of motivation. If a company decides to make us believe more in our strengths and dreams, our entire customer and life experience lights up.

This is not a quest to train your employees to certify as life coaches. The essential element here is that customers have feelings and emotions that need to be considered in the customer journey. They want to be motivated by your brand.

Zig Ziglar once opined: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing- that’s why we recommend it daily.” Motivate your customers regularly- when they are making a small purchase, sending a complaint or just having window shopping. We all need a little motivation in life!

image credit. zarino

Dateme Tamuno
Dateme Tamuno (Tubotamuno) is currently working as part of the SEO and PPC delivery team for UK based digital agency, Cariad Marketing. He has also completed a book on user-generated content marketing.


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