Building Customer Experience Centers

Does your business prioritize customer experience? According to Gartner, 81% of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. Other research shows that 73% of consumers say customer experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Because customer experience is an important part of the customer journey, how do we define it? Customer experience is the image a customer has of your brand. Who are you? What values do you have? What do you offer your customers? Every engagement customers have with your brand contributes to how they perceive your business. They might base their opinion on a memorable TV commercial or customer service conversation. 

One way businesses are focusing on customers is by building customer experience centers (CECs). These spaces help you reach prospective or current enterprise business customers through highly interactive, engaging activities and immersive presentations. CECs allow customers to not only experience a brand up close and personal, but they welcome customers to be a part of a brand. That sense of belonging has the power to create a long lasting impact on prospective customers. These experiences can develop customer loyalty and make them brand ambassadors. As a reliable way to build customer relationships, CECs guide business customers through your brand values and the products or services you offer. What do they get out of using your service? How are you better than the competition? These experience centers give you the ability to personalize your approach to sharing that information. 

Alleo developed this guide to customer experience centers to explain the: 

  • Customer experience and how it impacts your business relationships
  • CECs and how they can improve the customer journey and their experiences
  • Impact CECs can have on building relationships
  • How to improve your customer experiences
  • Technology you can incorporate into your experiences that will leave a lasting impression

What Are the 3 Main Components of Customer Experience?

The three most important elements of customer experience are the customer themselves, the experience you’ve developed for your customers, and the values you’re presenting to your customers. Giving your customers a great experience with the customer experience centers and software like Alleo proves to the enterprise customer that you are committed to investing in what counts. This investment says something about your company values and how much you value the customer’s partnership.

1. Customers You’re Attracting

You can develop a compelling brand experience for your customers by getting to know them personally and understanding their needs. Who are you trying to attract? Remember, to determine who your target customer is, it is important to recognize different audience demands, motivations, and prospective journeys. Identify the various experiences needed for new customers who are interested in your products or consider existing customers who are searching for new ideas. CECs—which we explain below—should be built with customers in mind.

2. Experiences You’re Creating

Experience center design is more than creating a customer-focused atmosphere. Creating an environment where customers do not feel they are being sold something, but rather being educated on making a decision that best fits their needs. CECs provide an empathy-centric approach that helps customers feel comfortable and open to making a deal. CEC Managers want the customer to feel as if they are co-authoring a solution tailor-made for their needs. Using technology to enhance the experiences of customers is essential to keep your business memorable once they leave. This technology can include presentations or interactive content, like breakout sessions or touch screens exploring stories or products. With software like Alleo, you can customize and implement your own interactive experiences that really drive engagement with your customers. 

3. Values You’re Reflecting

Your customer experience center should represent who you are and what distinguishes your business from your competitors. This representation is essential in creating a genuine connection with your customer. Make their time at your experience center enjoyable and personal since doing so will help positively reinforce your brand’s messaging and image. The ability to show customers how committed your business is to providing superior customer service will make a good impression. 

What Is an Experience Center?

A customer experience center is an interactive space in which companies can collaborate with and educate customers through presentations, discussions, and activities. Imagine a space with interactive exhibits or remote presentation capabilities rather than a conference room with limited technology. Or think about a virtual presentation that involves more than a slideshow, where customers can participate  in the experience. Through this, customers start on a personal journey that involves interacting with your products, services, and solutions. One main goal of these centers is to build a strong, personal connection with customers that will improve their view of the brand. Another key goal is to build trust with the current and prospective customers. As a business, you want to prove you can do what you say after taking their needs into consideration. When customers trust you, they are way more willing to buy from you.

For example, imagine you’re visiting the CEC of a company that produces computers. Once you enter the center, you notice a large, open space with a lounge section and several stations placed throughout the space. At each station, you learn about different aspects of the company. They explain how they were founded in a small town out of a garage at one station and show the progression of their computers at another. Each one is designed to show you different aspects of their company.

You might also visit the CEC of a tool manufacturer that looks more like a conference room, but has multiple screens which display information about the company. You can interact with these screens to learn more about the company and its offerings. After exploring, a moderator comes in and starts a presentation while handing you a tablet. Throughout their presentation, you can interact with things on the screen using your tablet. Virtual participants are also involved with the experience and interact at the same level as you.

These experiences should answer a few basic questions:

  • What is the company’s history?
  • What products do they make and how have they evolved over time?
  • What are the success stories of other customers?
  • What pain points does their product or service solve?

While CECs are typically built around in-person experiences, you can involve virtual participants through digital means. Using digital experience centers is an effective way to implement content differently than standard presentations—which often lead to a loss of interest and lack of immersion. By developing activities with customer experience tools, you can examine information to get to a solution together rather than come to a conclusion before connecting with customers. For example, you can see which values are important to customers while sharing your value propositions. That can help you show how you meet your customers’ needs. These outcomes are all possible with modern technology and versatile software solutions that enhance digital experiences. They also provide opportunities for research and development.

But why use technology and software for experience centers? Your company’s customer experience center can effectively communicate important value propositions thanks to interactive and immersive technology. Potential customers should look forward to experiencing that technology, because of its value in considering the future. Where is society heading? What does that mean for the future of the customer? Alleo is on the forefront of interactive and immersive technology and can provide businesses and CEC’s with a way to engage their customers better through our innovative immersive software.

CECs are an expensive investment, and without the right tools, it can be difficult to make them effective. Think of a stereo system without high-quality speakers. How do you experience music differently than with a system with excellent surround sound speakers? The sound might be dull or tinny instead of having high fidelity. The same can be true for experience centers, where having no interactive software can greatly impact the experience itself. We believe the companies with the best customer experience centers take advantage of new technology. Customer experience programs should:

  • Transform standard presentations into interactive informational experiences
  • Create customizable customer journeys that tell more compelling stories
  • Drive collaboration equity amongst in-person and virtual attendees through purpose-built engagement

By using interactive multimodal content—images, PDFs, videos, etc.—using technology like smart boards and TVs, you’ll be able to create memorable presentations. This is possible in large presentation areas or in more engaging spaces with multiple displays. You can use the CECs as a method for engaging or even onboarding your customers. And the interactivity helps keep people engaged, which makes the whole customer journey/onboarding process more collaborative and personable. One critical part of interactivity is engaging a third sense, like the sense of touch, rather than only sight and sound. By introducing touch, your customers are using 60% of your senses, which results in much higher recall of information.

Furthermore, collaboration is a key component to driving engagement with participants. With the ability to use breakout rooms and a central presentation screen, experience center software gives customers the ability to interact with you and each other.

In contrast to hard-sell marketing strategies, CECs provide prospective and current customers a chance to evaluate and experience brands on their own terms in a tailored environment. Customer experience solutions offer unique perspectives on your company and its mission, while presenting valuable information or engrossing the customers in an experience. Alleo offers a platform that helps you integrate technology in your CEC with interactive experiences and hybrid solutions for in-person and remote participation. With Alleo’s incredible customization tools, you can effortlessly design custom and compelling experiences for your customers.

What Is the Purpose of an Experience Center?

The purpose of customer experience centers is to involve customers in building their journey with your company and understanding how your solutions can help them. When implemented correctly, an experience center gives clients an appealing and well-coordinated impression of your company while also making them feel unique by providing a wonderful, highly customized personal experience. Using these centers, customers should be convinced that you will provide them with products and services that meet their needs and that you also share their values. They walk away feeling confident that your business is a reliable partner for them because they’ve experienced it firsthand. 

Companies don’t just buy products and services, they invest in your company that is providing the product or service. Experience centers give current and prospective customers an ability to better understand the ethos of the company.

  • Did you put time and effort into the presentation? 
  • How did you treat the customer and their colleagues when they were there? 
  • What was the atmosphere when the customers were there?

Create a Customer Journey

Experience centers allow you to promote your business in a way that is relevant to each potential buyer. Designing a customer journey—that is, the path of interactions between your brand and the customers—is the essential first step to showing them how your products and services can help them. By introducing your history, value propositions, and success stories, your customer journeys will create an appealing first impression for those who might not know what you have to offer. Every element of your customer journey should increase their familiarity with your brand and leave them with a positive impact. Crafting a well curated “story” about your company, its products, services, and people, will resonate with customers much more than if you only provide them info on products and services or features. People remember stories. Stories are memorable because they appeal to emotions. Customers can identify with parts of your business’s story and often see themselves as a part of it. Find insights on which approaches drive conversion the most and then tailor future experiences based on that information.

Develop a Memorable Experience

Businesses should adapt the experience to meet a variety of customer expectations while providing a guided experience that is personalized, simple, and genuine to brand values. However, less focus should be on explaining the brand message and instead allow customers to take ownership of the experience. By giving them this opportunity, they can fully experience the brand through content and interactive presentations, leading to a memorable connection between them and your brand. 

Build Relationships with Customers

A well-thought-out experience center provides the opportunity for the development of professional relationships through personalized interactions, which in turn aids in future growth. For a lasting connection, digital technologies enable the visit to continue with follow-up content and experiences that are specially adapted to the customer and your company. Hopefully, your business will begin connecting with customers even before they visit the experience center, but that relationship can be solidified with your memorable experiences. This relationship building is important because understanding your customers is one of the most important pieces of CECs.

Improve Your Brand’s Reputation

Once customers visit your experience center, they should leave with a better understanding of your brand and its products and services. Ideally, this understanding should not only drive conversions but can also lead to a better reputation among your target customers. 

Reaching a new audience, building relationships, and boosting your reputation are ideal outcomes for any business. But what’s most important is that the customers will truly understand your company more intimately, which can lead them to purchase your products or services. This understanding ensures you’re a right fit for them, but also that they fit your ideal customer profile as well. Then you can gain brand advocates, receive referrals, and get reviews. With all of the customer experience benefits at CECs, you’ll find that you can connect with your customers on a deeper level.

Why Is Customer Experience Important?

How customers view your brand is essential, and customer experience centers should provide them with information about your company, why your product or service meets their needs, and what you can offer them individually. A CEC is the last step where you can validate your claims. This is especially important after prospective customers have done their research and received information from a representative. Building partnerships and finalizing deals is incredibly important—if not the most important thing—for a majority of businesses. So what is the importance of customer experience to business success? 

  • Stand out from competitors 
  • Develop more meaningful interactions with customers
  • Focus on personalized and customized experiences
  • Increase customer acquisition and loyalty
  • Drive company growth
  • Implement proactive customer service

These advantages emphasize how critical customer experience is for your business. You want your brand to be at the forefront of customers’ minds, and your experiences can provide an interesting look at who you are and what you offer. To accomplish this, the benefit of customer experience centers allows you to enhance the customer experience itself. You can provide them with a personalized journey that covers the details that are most important to them. And that is why customer experience is key to success for businesses wanting to connect with customers.

6 Ways to Improve Customer Experience at a CEC

1. Understand Your Customers

The first step in improving customer experiences is to develop your ideal customer profile (ICP). This profile will help you determine what your ideal customers look like and how you can cater to their needs. What demographics are most important for your business to reach? Are you targeting decision-makers? What opportunities do you think your ideal customers would appreciate? Nailing down specifics involves a lot of research. Understanding your ICP will help you: 

  • Identify and prioritize target accounts
  • Craft your messaging and campaigns
  • Lower customer acquisition costs
  • Reduce churn

Following this step will also allow you to design your customer experience center to cater specifically to your ICP customers (in person or virtually). 

2. Create a Connection

Once you have an ICP, you’ll be able to create relationships with potential customers by explaining your value proposition and educating them on your products and services. With the use of an experience center, you can involve them directly in the process of storytelling, rather than passively listening to a presentation. Using software to develop these experiences can help deepen the connection customers have with you and your company. By creating a more immersive and interactive experience you are able to get customers out of a defensive, “I am trying to be sold something” mindset, into a “Let me explain to you what I need and why it is important” mindset. At a CEC, you’ll be able to interact directly with your customers, rather than sending whitepapers and other materials or presenting a simple product demo.

3. Use Technology

Customer experience centers run on technology. Whether there are displays spread across the space or your company hosts seminars, you need high-quality technology to keep your customers engaged. However, having displays and touch screens throughout isn’t the only thing you need to build a customer journey environment. The software you use in person or online can make or break your experience. Get customers actively participating in your experience center with tools that are developed to involve everyone. Alleo is a truly customizable software solution that helps you reach your customers and create engaging experiences.

4. Use Customer Feedback

It’s always important to take feedback and make your experience center better. What did customers like? How do they think you can improve? It might be helpful to ask these questions after their experience. Internal data could also prove beneficial in understanding what worked in driving conversion or what might have driven customers away. No matter the approach you choose, keeping the customer in mind will help you develop a better experience in the future.

5. Empower Your Employees

The experience your customers have heavily relies on employees. Whether that’s taking customers through the experience center or leading a workshop, giving your employees the ability to perform and make judgment calls during the entire process will ensure your customers get the most out of their experience with your company.

6. Post Experience Follow-Up

High-value customers visit your CEC and get an amazing presentation/experience. As a follow up, the standard deliverable is a static PPT with pictures of the experience. Why not deliver a digital copy of the experience that customers can share and socialize in their company?

How Do You Give Good Customer Experience at a CEC?

The main focus you should have at your customer experience center is developing a way to involve your customers, whether that’s through engaging activities or group interactions. One of the best solutions to these goals is to implement customer experience software. What does the best customer experience management software offer? 

In-Depth Collaboration

With the rise of hybrid meeting tools, like video conferencing, not many offer truly collaborative software that involves participants in an engaging way. We think customers want more than a slideshow presentation. With the ability to create breakout rooms and workshops, customers have the ability to contribute to the discussion rather than listen passively. Everyone is able to participate, which means more collaborative equity and more productive conversations. All voices are important and input from every participant—in person or remote—means each person has the ability to engage and make their voices heard. With tools like Alleo, that means remote or virtual participants are given tools that elevate their ability to engage as if they were in the room with everyone else. 

Unique Engagement

Moderators and attendees alike should be able to interact with each other. Rather than a simple presentation, with Alleo you can create interesting activities like icebreakers, surveys, and interactive discussions. Whether in a meeting or within your customer experience center, customers are able to engage with your moderators or displays in a unique way that prevents them from losing interest. Involve your customers, and their experience will remain memorable.

Customizable Journeys

You can make your story accessible to customers by developing individualized journeys that explain how your products and services can help meet their needs. With the right software, you can present your story in new and exciting ways, like sharing successes on multiple monitors or dividing information into different sections. 

Immersive Presentation Capabilities

A good CEC gives you the ability to have multimodal presentations that include diverse content-types, web-based tools, and the capability to bring in live content. These presentations also need to allow customers or presenters to dive deep into the content to get more information or additional context to the content.

How to Improve Customer Experience Centers

Alleo empowers you to build a collaborative and engaging space for your customers. Introduce teaching moments before a discussion and reflection on how certain ideas impact your customers. Whether online or in person, everyone can engage in the same interactive learning and activities. You have the ability to effortlessly design and customize your customer experience, which leads to greater involvement and memorability.

With Alleo, you have the freedom to make experiences that best fit your—and your customers’—needs. For inspiration, we have templates of different activities you can use for your CEC to show you what our platform is capable of, for both in-person or virtual experiences. For example, icebreakers like the Choice Exercise or Two Truths and One Lie give you and your participants the opportunity to learn more about each other before you introduce more about your company. You could use the Empathy Map to map out value propositions and see what customers really find important. But you can do so much more! With various templates, creator tools, and widgets available, you can easily create a personalized experience for your customers. 

As the future of customer experience centers becomes more clear, one thing is for certain: customers want to be engaged. Alleo makes that possible with a great customer experience center software solution that is accessible and customizable. If you’re looking for a way to collaborate, meet, and present, Alleo is the answer. Visit our website to see how we can help you meet your customer experience center needs as the leading digital experience platform.


Picture of Stephanie Suh

Stephanie Suh

Strategic Customer Success Manager

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