14 Apr 2022

Ten top tips for creating great customer experiences

If you’re looking to create a great experience for your customers, it’s well worth looking at the principles laid out in Matt Watkinson’s bestseller The Ten Principles Behind Geat Customer Experiences.

Watkinson states that if you want to create a great customer experience, you need to:

  1. Reflect the customer’s identity
  2. Satisfy the customer’s objectives
  3. Leave nothing to chance
  4. Set and then meet expectations
  5. Make it easy
  6. Remove stress
  7. Indulge the senses
  8. Engage on a social level
  9. Put the customer in control
  10. Consider the emotions

Let’s explain these in a little more detail…

1. Reflect the customer’s identity

Everything we buy reflects our values, beliefs and self-image. As customers, we’re happy if we feel that the experience we’ve had resonates with our personal values and reinforces our self-image.

  • Think about what your brand says about your customers
  • Be clear on the rationales that apply to your brand (i.e. the reasons why a customer should choose you)
  • Focus on creating a brand reality rather than a brand image – this is the foundation of a great customer experience
2. Satisfy the customer’s objectives

Why is your customer buying your product? Sounds like a silly question. But if you answer it properly, you’ll learn a lot – and you’ll develop greater empathy for what the customer really needs.

Consider someone buying a car. Is a car the only thing they want? No. They also want to: get to work, drive their kids to school, be independent, look good…the list goes on.

Two areas of focus:

  • The ‘super-objective’: Establish the overriding WHY behind the customer’s purchase
  • The stage objectives: Aim to understand the specific objectives at every stage of the customer journey
3. Leave nothing to chance

Every moment matters. No element of the customer experience is too small to make a difference. If every detail is right, the overall experience will be right.

  • Break down the experience into steps and stages to understand the details and the opportunities to improve and innovate
  • Model how customers move between touchpoints – this is key to creating seamless multi-channel experiences
4. Set and then meet expectations

The level of satisfaction a customer feels depends on their expectations. The golden rules: 

  • Do what you say you’ll do


  • Do it when you say you’ll do it 
5. Make it easy

Customers know that buying stuff can be easy (think Amazon, Deliveroo, Uber), so why should they put up with hassle and effort if they don’t have to?

Try these three ways of making things easier:

  • Reduce time on task
  • Use simpler language
  • Improve convenience
6. Remove stress

We’ve all got enough stress in our lives. Who would choose to give their money to a company that creates more? 

Three simple ways of minimising stress:

  • Make choices easy
  • Prevent errors
  • Keep people informed
7. Indulge the senses

As human beings we seek sensory pleasure: delicious food, spine-tingling music, beautiful art. Every product or service is fundamentally a sensual experience.

  • Consider how a customer’s senses are stimulated at every step of the journey
  • Tap into all (or as many as possible) of the five senses
  • Remember that beautiful products are perceived as easier to use
8. Engage on a social level

Human beings are social creatures. We like interaction. We more readily buy from a friend than a stranger. And we like to feel important.

  • Deliver a moment of outstanding personal service to a customer and you’ll have a lifetime advocate
  • Treat your front-line staff well and this will be reflected in the service they deliver to your customers
  • Tap into the insight from your front-line – they know more about your customers than anyone else
  • Make every customer feel important
9. Put the customer in control

A sense of autonomy is a fundamental psychological need. As customers, we don’t just want to achieve goals, we want to achieve them in our own way. 

How you can give your customers a greater feeling of control?

  • Review each step of the customer journey – making sure the customer feels in control at every step
  • Remember that more choice doesn’t necessarily result in a greater feeling of control
  • Typically customers want control over when and where they perform a task, how much they spend, and who with
10. Consider the emotions

As customers we don’t behave rationally, we’re driven by our emotions. And we never forget how a particularly good (or bad) customer experience makes us feel. 

Three steps:

  1. Consider how you want your customers to feel during their experience with you
  2. Consider how you DON’T want them to feel 
  3. Apply this to all aspects of the customer journey

The Understood Experience

The ten principles above inspire some of the thinking behind The Understood Experience. Find out more here.

And now what?

Putting principles into practice is the hard bit. Talk to us today about how we can help you deliver great customer experiences.