Customer Experience Innovation Blog with Toni Newman



There it was!  The mega-hyped brand new Pandora jewelry store located smack dab in the middle of Soho, New York City.  My friend and I had been waiting for this moment for months.

Now, for those of you who might not know about PANDORA, suffice it to say that their global success has been due to their unique personalized charm bracelet concept. Their brand promise – or what I might call their “Why PANDORA?” story – is to inspire women to “express their individuality” via “personal storytelling”.

Given PANDORA’s brand promise, I’m sure that it will come as no surprise to you if I admit that as my friend and I pushed open the door and entered the store, we were anticipating a once-in-a-lifetime jewelry buying experience.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.  One might say that we opened PANDORA’s box and it was empty!

To say that the entire PANDORA customer experience was a brand disconnect would be an understatement! There were no questions about our bracelets.  No conversation about what charms we might be hoping for next.  Instead of asking questions that would help her discover the personal details of our NY weekend, the sales girl simply showed us the painfully obvious and predictable Statue of Liberty and silver apple charms.  So much for individuality and personal storytelling.  So much for customer service let alone customer experience.

The result?  Although the charms were less expensive than in Canada and although my friend and I would have gladly purchased several each had the customer experience inspired us to do so, we left with only one apiece and the memory of a PANDORA experience that was disappointing at best.

So I have a question for you.  What opportunities might your business be missing because you’re not asking your customers the right kind of questions?  What do people find in your Pandora’s box?

InnovaT!on Insight … Ask 5S Questions

Great questions are part of any memorable Customer Experience. Here are some thoughts on how you could apply the The Five S’s of Unexpected Encounters™ to the questions that you ask your customers.

Surprising:  What questions do your customers expect you to ask? What questions would your customers never expect?  (I expected the PANDORA sales girl to ask me about my bracelet – which she didn’t.  It would have been surprising for her to ask me about my jewelry tastes in general.) 

Strategic:  What questions support your “Why You?” story and influence what you want your customers to think, feel and do next? (If the PANDORA brand is about personal storytelling it would have been strategic for the salesgirl to ask about our personal stories so that she could influence our purchases accordingly.)

Seductive:  What questions would help you discover the more intimate connection that your customers have with your product or service?  (This was a huge missed opportunity by this PANDORA team.  Asking engaging questions about our bracelets and the personal stories behind them should have been a no brainer.)

Sustainable:  What questions do you ask your new customers? Your returning customers? Your highly engaged customers?  Have you thought about how these questions need to be different? (The number of charms on our PANDORA bracelets should have indicated our level of engagement to the salesgirl and triggered a series of pre-planned sustainable questions.)

Simple:  Are your questions simple for you and simple for them? Are you asking enough? Are you asking too many? (The PANDORA salesgirl’s lack of questions actually made our experience more complicated and resulted in us making fewer purchases.)  

So here’s my question for you.  How will you and your team apply The Five S’s of Unexpected Encounters™ to your customer questions so that you can Attract, Keep and Engage More Customers More Often?

I look forward to your comments.

Imagine the Possibilities!


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