What’s Next in Customer Experience: Joe Pine

What’s Next in Customer Experience: Joe Pine


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About Joe Pine

Co-author of The Experience Economy, Joseph Pine II is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and management advisor to Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups alike.

In 1999, Joe and his partner James H. Gilmore wrote the best-selling book The Experience Economy: Work is a Theatre & Every Business a Stage, which demonstrates how goods and services are no longer enough; what companies must offer today are experiences – memorable events that engage each customer in an inherently personal way. The Experience Economy has become a quintessential read.

Mr. Pine also co-wrote Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier with Kim Korn, Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want with Mr. Gilmore, and in 1993 published his first book, the award-winning Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition. Each book details Mr. Pine’s breakthrough thinking as he has accurately charted many structural shifts in the economy and consumer sensibilities.

Learn more about Joe Pine at: strategichorizons.com

Buy Joe Pine’s Book The Experience Economy: Work is a Theatre & Every Business a Stage

Follow Joe Pine on Twitter@joepine
Follow Joe Pine on LinkedIn 

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Most people think of customer experience as nice, easy, and convenient. While that’s the bread and butter of some companies, it’s a death sentence for others. The “get-in-and-out-quick” mindset should be reserved for companies like Amazon, Walmart, or Uber, where customers are obviously seeking to save time. However, many companies are attempting to compete in the race where they have no business… literally.  Instead Pine says companies should be enticing their customers to spend more time, which is where the experience lies. 

Joe Pine, “the seer” of business shifts in the marketplace has continued to identify where companies should focus.  Here are some of Pine’s solutions:

1. Transform your customers

Design an experience that’s so appropriate for your customers that it’s life transforming.  In the progression from commodities, goods, services, and experiences, transformation is next in line.

The overall goal with transformation is to guide people towards change; to help them achieve their aspirations like the banking and education industries in the business of making people healthy, wealthy, and wise.

2. Be authentic

Many companies begin on the journey to customer centricity and advertise what’s not yet there and people will begin to view it as inauthentic.

  • Know who you are and what you’re about. Do what aligns with it.
  • Be who you say you are to others. No false advertising. 
  • Don’t copy best practices; extract best principals. Watch how other experiences are staged. How do you provide good theatre for your customers?

3. Deliver a distinctive experience

Give shoppers a reason to come into your store other than buying “stuff”. Give them an experience that’s memorable.

Toys R Us had a flagship store in Time Square in NYC that was a great experience inside the store. They never took their own principals to the other stores. You can’t pile it high and merchandise the heck out of things. Look at Legoland. Design the time your customers have with you.

4. Invest in time-well-spent 

Toys R Us should have been a time-well-spent business. Brick and mortar companies should focus on time-well-spent, unless you’re a convenience store. Leave the time-well-saved to the Amazons, Walmarts, and Ubers of the world. Customers will pay money to spend time with you. Eataly, American Girl, and REI are great examples.

To provide customers a great experience, you want to give great service.  Ultimately,  a company can save customers time over here so that they can have more time to spend over there. 

Disney world is a great example of designing time.  Waiting in line was wasted time. Disney made waiting in line an experience by having a pre-show while you wait to make it time well spent. They also created a fast pass system, thanks to digital technology, to make it time well saved.  They used time well saved for customers to have time well spent. 

5. Nice, easy, and convenient is NOT customer experience

These aren’t true distinctive experience characteristics; they routinize things that get in the way of being personal.  These are time-well-saved strategies, characteristic of service companies and they rarely rise to the level of memorability.

You want to create a memory that customers view as time well spent. You want people to value the time.

6. Start “customering”

The point here is to entice customers to want to spend more time with you. Create an experience; don’t just put a target on their backs and sling arrows. It’s not about bombarding people with ads. Use data to get to know them individually 

7. Digitization and Multi-verse 

All of our experiences happen in our universe of time, space, and matter. We can have experiences that encompass all of these factors. Digital technology enhances our real-world experience. Digital technology creates a virtual space between us for us to interact, like in a podcast.

Virtual reality allows us to have experiences in places that don’t physically exist. Our sense of time washes away when we are so engaged in an experience. We want customers to lose track of time because that most likely means it was a great experience.

Subscribe to our Podcast about Customer Experience – Voices of CX


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Crystal Garrett

Crystal Garrett

I’m an extrovert, beach lover, and baseball fan with a passion for writing. I’ve spent over 10 years writing content for screen (tv/film) and demand-generating copy for digital, social media, and search marketing. My strengths lie in creating and developing original content for tv/film, inbound marketing content and strategy, and brand messaging. I love creative collaboration, possess great communication skills, enjoy problem-solving, and have a reputation for being innovative, effective and efficient.



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