Decoding the WISER method for a remarkable customer experience with Dan Gingiss

Vanipriya Moorthi

August 21, 20239 min read

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Ever felt the urge to splurge on the latest gadgets and gizmos? We've all been there.  

Those flashy ads on social media can be tempting, right?  

Social media has turned into a go-to platform for brands to promote themselves and their products or services. Yet, what's fascinating is how, despite the digital age, the good ol’ word of mouth still holds its sway. 

It's often an acquaintance's excitement that truly piques our interest. Whenever a friend of yours wouldn't stop gushing about their recent purchase, haven’t you found yourself thinking, "Okay, I got to check that out"?  

That's what makes word of mouth so special – it bridges the gap between the appeal of online ads with the authentic experiences shared by those we trust. 

But here’s the thing – word-of-mouth marketing isn’t that easy as customers rarely settle for “good” experiences these days. You’ve got to amaze them with your customer experience. Otherwise, in today's saturated market, your brand could slip into oblivion unless you keep stepping up your customer experience game. 

Let me ask you this: can you recall the last time a brand truly blew your mind? Yeah, me neither. 

While chatting with Nathan Bennett for the latest CX-WISE podcast, Dan Gingiss pointed out: 

“Customers want to share positive experiences more than negative ones. But around two-thirds of customers can't recall when a brand really wowed them. That's why brands miss out on positive word of mouth.” 

Dan Gingiss is an international keynote speaker and renowned CX expert. For over 20 years, he’s led teams in nearly every marketing channel and has worked with the likes of Discover, McDonald’s and Humana. CX Network recently recognized him as one of the top CX influencers to follow in 2023.

In the episode, Dan throws light on his WISER approach – Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary, Responsive – that brands can adopt to craft remarkable experiences that customers will be raving about for years to come.

Without further ado, let me walk you through the five key pieces of Dan’s WISER approach, so you can elevate your CX game and become a little “CX-WISER.” 

Table of Contents

Crafting positive customer experiences with wit

Dan opines that even if you're in an industry that's often perceived as "boring," you can rewrite the narrative by being “witty.” But witty doesn’t always equal hilarious, it’s more about being clever.

The key is to add that special touch that brings a smile to people's faces, and forging genuine bonds that grow stronger with time.

Take JP Morgan Chase, for instance, which surprised its customers by personalizing their login pages with pictures of their city's neighbourhood. Say you’re logging into their website from San Francisco, you wouldn't see a typical landmark like the Golden Gate Bridge but something more familiar like a street in Chinatown if you happen to live in that locality.

Dan thinks it's a small but brilliant move that really speaks to the multinational finserv company’s customer-centric culture. And that's exactly what makes this initiative witty – finding ways to connect your brand with customers by assuring them, "Hey, we know you, we get you!"

Just like how we gravitate toward clever and charming people, customers flock to brands that show a bit of personality and uniqueness. Those qualities endear them to the brand and create a lasting impression on their mind, setting that brand apart from its competition.

Having said that, being witty isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. Sure, it can work wonders if done right, but it may not always align with every brand's personality or industry. Take banks, for example – cracking jokes might not be their thing, but they can still show some heart and build a rapport with customers on a human level. Striking the right balance is what makes the customer experience truly memorable.

You could also come across as witty just by using language that’s “more friendly, more human and feels more relational.”

Take, for instance, a sign in downtown Manhattan that Dan fondly remembers. It boldly claims, "We are probably the lowest priced in the city." It's incredible that a simple addition, adding "probably" in this case, completely flips the meaning around. It's a great example of how tiny tweaks in language can have a big impact on how we perceive things. 

Improving customer engagement through immersive experiences

Our senses and emotions are like portals to our memories. When something stirs up an emotion like joy, excitement or nostalgia, it leaves a mark in our minds. And when our senses are tickled – from what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell – the whole experience becomes even more unforgettable. 

According to Dan,

“Being immersive is when you have an experience that you just sort of feel in your bones — you feel with your whole body.”  

Another way is to involve the customer as an active participant in the experience, essentially making them the protagonist.

He illustrates this with a personal story involving an exotic drink called "The Old-Fashioned Experience." The one-of-a-kind serving included a glass of bourbon and a separate glass with an ice sphere filled with the drink's ingredients. Dan got the chance to pour the bourbon onto the ice ball himself. As he witnessed the mesmerizing transformation — with the ice ball melting and releasing tasty flavors — he felt like he was actually concocting the drink.

The beauty of an immersive brand experience is the active involvement it offers – you're the one in control. In this context, Dan is the one preparing the drink, not the bartender. These are the kind of moments that create a lasting impression and leave customers wanting for more. 

Creating share-worthy moments for a stellar customer experience

We've all encountered those awkward moments when brands pestered us, either directly or indirectly, to follow their social handles, use their hashtags or take selfies at their selfie stations. But Dan is quick to points out that, 

“Sharing doesn't happen by accident, and it doesn't happen just because you ask.” 

So, how can you entice your customers into sharing their experiences with your brand? 

Shareable moments unfold when you curate experiences that make your customers feel compelled to take out their phone and capture their experience. 

Dan illustrates this point with an anecdote about his teenage son’s birthday celebrations at Fleming's Steakhouse. As soon as Dan and his family stepped in at the restaurant, the maître d' surprised his son with a handwritten birthday card, signed by the staff. 

Wait, it gets even better. As they were finishing up dinner, Dan’s younger daughter had a knowing grin. She sensed that the dessert was going to be something special. And she was right – instead of a regular slice of cake and a candle, a box of exquisite, handcrafted chocolates arrived, spelling out "happy birthday" in rich cocoa powder, complete with a dancing sparkler on top. 

I bet you don’t need anyone to nudge you to snap a picture of this moment, you'll do it at the drop of a hat, wouldn’t you? Because when a moment like that happens, you capture, share and treasure it forever. 

This isn't about comparing a candle to a sparkler; it's about the mindset of turning the ordinary into something exceptional. When you make even the simplest moments stand out, they become share worthy. 

As Dan puts it,

“Try to zig when everybody else zags.”  

Turning ordinary customer experiences into extraordinary ones

You don’t have to go out of your way or blow your marketing budget to please your customers. Being extraordinary just means being a little bit better than ordinary. 

Dan offers his perspective on the impact of being just a bit better, using a scenario involving two identical gas stations situated across from each other. He highlights the significance of setting yourself apart and proposes that this can be achieved by offering something extra to the customer – such as providing free coffee samples or treats in this example. It's neither expensive nor operationally complex. 

These small yet significant touches can make a customer choose your brand over the competition. So, the next time you feel like your business is blending in with the crowd, remember to be a little different and a little better, and soon you'll have people coming back for more! 

Being responsive to customers for a wholesome experience 

Once you've crafted experiences that embody the WISE framework – Witty, Immersive, Shareable and Extraordinary – the momentum doesn't stop there. The "R" in WISER comes into play, emphasizing the need to be responsive.  

When customers take the time to celebrate your brand, reciprocation becomes key. In the past, responding to positive feedback wasn't a common practice since customers rarely called in just to say they had a great experience. 

However, the tide has changed with the rise of social media. Now, there's an opportunity to engage with happy customers and make them feel valued — think of it as giving your patrons a virtual high five! 

Establishing a genuine relationship with customers is pivotal for brands as it nurtures loyalty, trust and creates a lasting emotional connection

In the words of Dan Gingiss,  

“Customers are our single best, most important asset, period. That's why we have to think through things from the customer’s perspective, because we want our customers to stay, we want more customers and we want our customers to tell other people about us." 

Furthermore, Dan underlines that brands should also embrace customer complaints and use them as a catalyst for improvement.

In a nutshell

To become CX-WISER, do the following. 

Witty (W): Being witty isn't just about being hilarious, it's about adding a clever touch to your brand that puts a smile on your customers’ faces. Relatable gestures show you understand them. 

Immersive (I): Create experiences that engage your customers’ emotions and senses. When customers are a part of delightful experiences, they become etched in their memory. 

Shareable (S): Instead of blatantly requesting for shares on social media, craft moments that people naturally want to capture and share.  

Extraordinary (E): It's not about over-the-top gestures, it's about being a bit better than the status quo. Small improvements can set you apart and turn customers into repeat customers. 

Responsive (R): Engage with customers who celebrate your brand. A simple response on social media can make their day. At the same time, don't shy away from complaints, focus on those opportunities to show you care. 

There it is — the WISER approach for crafting remarkable experiences that helps your brand connect, engage and stand out.  

And here's some good news — check out this podcast, share your takeaway on social media with #CXWISE and tag Sprinklr to win a free copy of Dan’s bestseller “The Experience Maker: How to Create Remarkable Experiences That Your Customers Can’t Wait to Share.” 

Watch the full episode here: 

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