It’s hard to imagine purchasing a new car without taking it out for a spin first. Why isn’t the same true of other products? Wouldn’t it be nice if your customers could test out your products before committing to purchasing them? As a leader, the world is your oyster. If you're intent on improving customer experiences, letting your customers take your products on test drives can be game-changing in enhancing the customer experience. Here’s how you can take advantage of product test drives.
1. Focus on interactivity
It's no secret why we love visiting Apple's retail stores. The customer experience is interactive. We are able to see and try products in action. This interactive and immersive experience causes us to spend more time in the store and makes for a memorable customer experience. Research from Ohio State University revealed that the longer a person touches a product, the higher the value he or she mentally assigns to it. Researchers think that touch heightens a customer's sense of ownership and, in turn, increases the likelihood of a purchase.
2. Think big
You have a lot of different options when it comes to incorporating product test drives into your customer experience. Is there an opportunity to increase the level of interactivity and immersion associated with your customer experience? Perhaps you follow Apple's lead and have products on display that consumers can freely interact with. Or, perhaps you follow the lead of Sephora or Costco and give away free samples.
Even if you don’t operate physical stores, you can still take advantage of product test drives. Consider Ray-Ban, the successful sunglass producer. Ray-Ban set up an interactive web platform where users are able to try on sunglass options using a virtual mirror. Thanks to augmented reality, customers can experience the look and feel of Ray-Ban sunglasses without needing to make a purchase.
3. Don’t forget metrics
One of the biggest advantages of test drives is the opportunity to learn more about your customers and products. The test drive can be an important metric to assess the probability of a purchase. If customers want to take products for test drives, but only a very small percentage actually buy the product, there may be some disconnect. If, on the other hand, customers fall in love with your product after testing it, it’s a good sign that your products have high appeal.
You don’t need to thoughtlessly incorporate product test drives into your customer experience. An executive coach can equip you with a collection of tools and strategies, including emotional intelligence, self-awareness, empathy, active listening, and other training, that will help you better understand your customers’ experiences and where improvements should be made. Never forget the wise words of Steve Jobs, "Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves." There’s no better way to get close to customers than to let them touch and feel your products.
Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders and has dedicated her career to helping them.
As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’. amazon.com/author/nadinegreiner