It’s the Dawning of the Age of Experience
Information Age, your time is up. Technology is ushering in the Experience Age.
We like to categorise periods of history, don’t we? It helps us chart the evolution of human advancement. The Stone Age that gave way to the Bronze, then Iron Age. The disruptive, revolutionary changes brought about by the Industrial Age, finally eclipsed by the technological breakthroughs that heralded the Space Age.
And then came digitisation and the internet; a world wide web across which flowed astonishing levels of data. Facts and figures at our fingertips, the hallmark of the Information Age.
But with the advance of mobile technology, the rise of instant communication channels, connected, smart devices, and the rise of social media, so we’ve seen the emergence of a new age in the human story.
As sixties band, The 5th Dimension almost sang: “This is the dawning of the Age of Experience”
An age in which our value systems are undergoing a sea change. A shift away from the things we own, towards the things we do.
The status and sense of worth we once placed in owning the largest TV, or the best car in the street, is diminishing. Today’s young adults will more frequently place higher stock in the holiday you’ve taken, the Zip Wire ride over the resevoir, or the Michelin standard meal you had on the weekend.
It’s a reflection on the way our culture has been influenced by the technology we use, and the social media channels that grow ever more ubiquitous in the way we interact.
Facebook feeds that are populated by recipes, ‘life-hacks’, and videos of adrenaline junkies getting their scary thrills by bouncing on a pogo stick on the ledge of a skyscraper, or taking a selfie from a tree branch overhanging the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Because social media is about capturing a moment, painting the picture of your life, or indeed, of your brand, that you want to portray to the larger world.
It’s the Snapchat generation that allows us to share what we’re doing to the world in an instant; before perpetually replaced by the next amazing experience. In a carpe diem culture, where living in the moment has finally been given top billing, the stock is falling on the things we own, replaced by the things we do as a sign of an aspirational lifestyle.
The value of experience and customer expectation
It filters into every aspect of our lives, this value we place in the experience we have when doing things. Even the mundane tasks of our working or social lives.
Again, it’s a value system fuelled by the technology we have, quite literally, at our fingertips.
Smartphones and the different functions and apps available to us has given rise to a culture that has high expectations when it comes to user experience (UX). Customer or consumer experiences from which we can take a degree of pleasure; or at least the expectation that unnecessary hassle is removed.
How we spend our time has become a high-value item; we don’t want to be wasting it on over-complicated processes. Whether making a purchase, scheduling an appointment, making a booking, or sending an enquiry, the experience needs to be positive.
This is the space that technology, at its best, fills in our daily activities. That ability to free our time from the laborious.
Positive Experience = Positive Brand Identity
Recognition of the value we place in positive experiences plays a key role in the way our brands can be perceived. Do we make our clients’ lives a little easier, remove hassle, free up time, or add a bit of pleasure?
It all comes back to the experience we provide, the positivity we create in the customer journey.
How can we achieve this?
It’s in the fusion of the technology we use with the human touch we employ. Let your technology take care of the mundane while you focus on the emotional contact, the personal touch.
If you operate a tailoring service, for instance, why clog up a client’s time with fiddly enquiry forms when a simple scheduling tool not only allows them to book in an instant, but allows you to gather essential pre-appointment insight, to personalise the customer experience before they’ve even visited your studio?
There’s a tendency to assume that integrating new technology into your business comes at a cost to the personal touch; that you’re removing the human element in favour of the impersonal digital sphere. A perception fuelled, no doubt, by one too many negative experiences on automated phone calls.
But, when you use the right products, and apply the tech correctly, this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Technology that is there to enhance the journey, to speed up processes, free your time from admin.
Delivering value-adding experiences for your clients. Empowering your brand, creating client loyalty, advocacy and growth.