As customer expectations evolve and competition continues to increase, the way businesses engage with customers must change. In today’s market, B2B customers are harder to impress than ever before. One recent Gartner study found that when B2B buyers consider a purchase, they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers.
This means a one-size-fits-all approach to customer engagement won’t grab the attention of decisionmakers anymore—with so little facetime with customers, businesses need to make every second count. Therefore, the modern B2B customer journey must focus on creating personalized and collaborative experiences to positively influence purchasing decisions.
So, how do businesses craft these experiences? Look no further than the customer experience center (CEC). By combining interactive presentations, collaborative sessions, and stunning visuals, CECs leave lasting impressions on hard-to-impress B2B buyers.
In this blog, Alleo will dive deep into customer experience center design and explain what you need to wow any customer.
What Is Another Name for a Customer Experience Center? And What Do These Spaces Look Like?
Before you begin designing your CEC, it’s important to recognize the alternate terminologies used to describe these environments. The most common terms you’ll come across are brand experience centers (BECs) and customer innovation centers (CICs). But really, the names don’t matter. CECs, BECs, and CICs are all interactive spaces designed to create an immersive brand experience that elevates relationships with potential or existing customers.
Regardless of terminology, experience centers have the potential to positively alter a customer’s opinion of your brand and business offerings. To help you visualize the potential of these spaces, let’s review a few great customer experience center examples.
Ricoh Customer Experience Center
The Ricoh CEC empowers visitors to “Connect with thought leaders and participate in interactive discussions to identify the specific issues that underlie your everyday challenges.” This space offers various meeting spaces equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including interactive whiteboards, advanced video conferencing, and a high-tech production print room.
Hewlett Packard (HP) Customer Innovation Center
Hewlett Packard’s customer innovation center offers “Tailored in-person and virtual engagements that provide a collaborative environment to accelerate your edge-to-cloud innovation and fast-forward your outcomes.” Their center is fully stacked with virtual engagements, immersive content, and collaborative presentation spaces to excite customers about everything HP offers!
Honeywell Customer Experience Center
Honeywell’s CEC is built to illustrate how their engineering impacts the world. According to their website, “Experience Honeywell solutions in an immersive environment surrounded by 360-degree video, imagery, animations and special effects all tailored to your visit.” They provide their customers with a stunning virtual journey that illustrates how Honeywell solutions function in their customers’ company environments.
What Are the 3 Main Components of Customer Experience Centers?
When it comes to the future of customer experience, CECs are the next evolution. These spaces are built to demonstrate the value of the customer experience and ensure that every minute spent with your customer is worthwhile. Here’s what you need to achieve these lofty goals.
Stunning Interior Design
As is the case with any space, the interior design of a CEC is critical to setting the right tone for your customers. Typically included as part of an existing facility—like global headquarters—CECs are large, open spaces designed to foster engagement and collaboration. Although CEC setups typically occupy a single room, larger organizations may have multiple rooms dedicated to different aspects of their business offerings. Whether you choose an open floor plan or separate rooms, your CEC should incorporate the following areas and features:
- Easily accessible presentation area (being ADA compliant is critical to foster equitable engagement)
- Flexible seating to adjust depending on group size and the nature of your activities
- High-end furnishings, fixtures, art, and architectural details
- Designated spaces for collaborative activities
- Demo areas for customers to test out and view physical or digital products
As you think through your CEC space, you need to consider implementing audio and visual tools that cater to both remote and in-person audiences’ needs. To avoid awkward downtime caused by poor visuals and audio, CECs should come with high-quality tech. Including the best audio and visual hardware ensures in-person and remote viewers can clearly experience what the moderator is saying and have the ability to participate themselves. Here are just a few examples of the hardware included in CECs:
- Audio equipment for in-person and remote attendees
- Large, high-resolution touchscreen displays
- Virtual reality technology (on occasion)
- Physical or virtual demos of your product or service
Immersive and Collaborative Software
The core of a memorable customer experience is great digital technology. Without powerful software, your demos, presentations, and collaborative sessions won’t be effective—meaning your money and your customers’ time are wasted. As an innovator in the customer experience space, Alleo’s software empowers companies to create truly immersive, collaborative, and equitable experiences in CECs.
Our technology offers:
- Pre-made templates that make it easy for you to customize a great collaborative experience
- Extensive customization capabilities that enable you to develop unique boards, activities, and presentations
- Tools for hybrid engagement that allow you to foster an equitable experience for all participants
- A comprehensive control center that allows moderators to control all digital CEC experience displays from one space
- Simplistic drag-and-drop functionality that lets you quickly jump from screen to screen
- Customizable widgets to help you get your point across and let your brand’s voice shine
Although this list is pretty impressive, it’s not all we offer. Our committed and experienced design team can work with you to create custom digital elements for your CEC. Learn more about Alleo’s capabilities on our website and visit our Instagram to see the platform in action. If you’re ready to jump in, sign up for a free demo today!