Officially the most watched (and most pirated) show in television history, Game of Thrones (GoT) came, saw and downright slaughtered Australian TV ratings.
Part of GoT’s huge success is that it offers something for everyone; look beyond the gratuitous sex and violence (it’s not porn, it’s HBO), and you’ll find superb storytelling, mesmerising characters and timeless lessons in love, life and leadership.
One of the show’s main characters, Daenerys Targaryen (also known as Khaleesi, plus a long list of other names), stands-out as being the leader with the strongest following; not because of her wealth or status, but because of the relationship she builds with her people.
Much like a leader who earns respect from his or her people, a business that builds a strong relationship and creates good experiences with its customers can ensure its future stability. Don’t believe me?
Here are four lessons in creating a good customer experience, from the Mother of Dragons herself…
1. Always have an ear to the ground
Unlike all other leaders in the series, Khaleesi actively listens to what is going on around her- both in terms of her competitors (the other leaders vying for power) and her people; information which is fed to her through her trusted advisors Jorah Mormont and Barristan Selmy.
Paying attention to what your customers are doing online has never been more important than it is today. It has also never been more achievable, as today’s reporting tools and platforms are able to collect and collate increasingly detailed customer analytics.
Being able to see, on an individual level, what your customers are doing online will help you to personalise their experiences and provide more relevant content.
2. Be responsive to your audience
Each time Daenerys adopts a new nation, she makes a point of learning the local language and communicating with her new people directly in their own tongue; this is seen first when she learns Dothraki, (which is key to her being accepted by the people and named Khaleesi), and later when she seizes power in Meereen and communicates with citizens in ‘High Valyrian’.
No matter which language her people speak, they will always be able to understand and
communicate with her.
Your customers can, and will, access your website through smartphones, tablets or desktops, day or night, from any location. This means you need to be able to provide them with a seamless online experience that responds and adapts with them; whether that means using mobile optimisation, geo-location or translation tools.
3. Never underestimate the personal touch
The main reason for Daenerys’s popularity with her people is the importance she places on communicating with her people on an individual level, seen most clearly when she becomes queen of Meereen and invites hundreds of citizens to meet her personally to voice their concerns.
For large organisations, engaging with customers at an individual level may seem impossible but, in fact, it is what customers expect. When personalisation works, it can have a radical impact on customer engagement levels, as well as revenue; evidenced by UK airline, easyJet, which converted more than five sales per second, simply by personalising its homepage content to their 2.5 million online users.
4. Give the people what they want
When Daenerys discovers that she’s pregnant with Drogo’s child, she is expected to eat a raw stallion’s heart as part of a Dothraki pregnancy ritual. While horrified at first, she manages to eat the whole heart and is instantly accepted by the Dothraki people as their queen.
On-going monitoring of your website and mobile site analytics is the key to uncovering what your customers want. When Sitecore customer, AGL, saw that 44% of their mobile users instantly bounced when trying to access their desktop site, they took the hint and built a dedicated mobile site.
Post-launch, they noticed that many users were trying to submit meter readings through the mobile site; suggesting that, in future, a meter reading app could be hugely popular.
Examples of great customer experiences can be found in some of the most unexpected places, but they always inspire the same results; recognition, rapport and, eventually, loyalty.
Providing a good customer experience is nothing more than showing your customers that you value their time and custom. Being inaccessible, uncommunicative or irrelevant, will push your customers into the arms of your competitors.
When it comes to customer experience, as Cersei Lannister warns Joffrey, “The occasional kindness will spare you all sorts of trouble down the road.”
Robert Holliday - VP Enablement Service - Greater Asia, Sitecore
As VP Enablement Service - Greater Asia at Sitecore, Robert is charged with driving strategy in collaboration with the local senior management teams responsible for Sales, Marketing, Customers and Alliances. Robert works closely with corporate and regional offices to implement and localise the global strategy to grow the business and ensure customer success with Sitecore's leading customer engagement platform.