For my birthday, I want good presents. Not logical, practical, useful presents like kitchen appliances (this is not 1950 and I don’t want a vacuum cleaner, unless it’s Dyson, then it’s ok). I want a gift that I wouldn’t splurge on myself - a ridiculous pair of shoes with red bottoms or Choo somewhere in the name. An overpriced handbag. A spa day. None of these things are “useful”, but they make me giddy and birthday presents should do that, right?
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if I am buying a car, a useful experience is non-negotiable. It’s not a splurge. It’s a must. Lucky for you guys, I did in fact just get a new car so I have real examples to tie into this vignette!
Like any consumer these days, the first thing I did when starting my search was to scour every website to find the best deal, the best promotions and the most inventory. And being in the technology industry myself, I’ll admit that I was a little judgy if the dealership websites weren’t well-thought out, visually appealing, arsenals of easy-to-navigate information and some bells and whistles for good measure. Today, your website really is the frontline to your whole operation, a first impression if you will. So if you wow me with useful (and beautiful) digital experience, you’re going to score some points before I even walk in the door to be swarmed by salesmen.
For example, if your website has non-clickable jpegs of your latest promo add, and you won’t give me any info over the phone forcing me to come in and play the archaic game of back and forth over ridiculous prices, save your breath. If I wanted to haggle, I’d visit a flea market.
But, if you provide a configurator (ahem, that’s a marketing app by the way) to let me build my own car, see the specs, pic everything from the interior color to rims, I’m totally into it. Like this...
This is what we in the biz call Youtility. It’s an experience so useful that according the New York Times Bestselling Author Jay Baer (who coined it), you’d pay for it.
If I use this configurator, I’m getting real prices and something based in reality that offers a jumping off point for negotiations when I walk in that door. It’s removing the painful back and forth and I’m starting ahead of the curve before I even get there.
Now, I did do this, and I did it with the very car above, so this is not a hypothetical scenario. I built my car, with every last feature I wanted, so I knew the “suggested” price (I say suggested because let’s be real, I wasn’t paying that either, c’mon ;). When I arrived, not only was the salesmen ready to make a deal, but so was I. The configurator armed me with detailed knowledge, where my wiggle room was, and what ballpark price range I was working within.
There were no games (I swear. It was insane. Best experience ever.) I told the salesman what I wanted, what I was willing to pay and within 2 hours (from test drive to signing on the electronic dotted line) I was driving off the lot in exactly what I wanted. Want more youtility? How about that they had a “delivery specialist” walk me to my car and go over every single feature in an entertaining and abridged way so I could operate my navigation and open my trunk without reading a manual? Or the fact that the paperwork took maybe 30 mins and that included getting me my license plate - a real one, not a paper one that I had to go somewhere to wait in line or have it mailed to me after the fact. Youtility, youtility, youtility.
And now guess what, when it’s time for a new car in a couple years, wanna take one guess where I’ll be going?
If you are not providing useful experiences to your customers, you are missing the mark. Sure they want you to be nice. Of course they want to feel a personal touch. But you know what they want most? Useful. Plain and simple. Give it to them and you’ll win them over just like that!
What better way to create a first impression than through the first touchpoint with your visitors, your digital experience?! Make sure your digital experience shows off your brand's personality. Not sure how to get started? Register now and receive the free guide, Improving Brand Engagement with Interactivity and Usefulness.