Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Customer Experience is “Finger Lickin’ Good”

Greasy food and computers usually don’t mix well. Rule one: do not touch anything while eating fried chicken. Rule two: use those dang wet wipes!¬†They’re there for a reason. So, KFC was mindful of the challenges that face always-connected customers who are trying to eat a bucket of fried chicken. They distributed a wireless, rechargeable, paper-thin, and grease-resistant tray typer on each tray during a one-week campaign in Germany. Armed with robust customer understanding, CX pros used research based stories to map out how a customer moves and feels between the moments they have along the way at KFC. Simply put, CX pros looked for connectors and moments to elevate the customer journey.

Instead of trying to accomplish the massive task of meeting customers’ every need at every point in time, KFC focused solely on the negative nodes of the experience and rerouted the experience along a more pleasant path. But eliminating negative nodes is not just about technology design. Rather, it involves personal interactions, tone of voice, and proactivty. For example, when a Delta passenger contacts an agent after Delta texts her about an automatic rebooking due to a flight cancellation, and the agent immediately asks if she is calling about the rebooking text message. This turns what could have been an emotionally-fraught moment that left the customer experience in tatters into a seamless transition.

I’m also learning that conversational UI, where the voice replaces interface elements, is an additional element quickly becoming part of the experience design toolkit. Natural language understanding (NLU) experts like Nuance Communications are partnering with banks to offer secure login using voice biometrics, along with car companies to provide voice commands while driving, and hospitals to ease document capture through speech transcription. Companies like Tobii Design are using eye tracking to learn about customers’ behavior as they use a product or interact with a service. And while smell is not often used in customer experience design, as a proactive memory connector, it has great potential. Hotels like Le Meridien, Starwood, and Westin Hotels & Resorts are working with scent brand agencies to create signature aromas that connect customers’ memory to physical places.

But seriously, use those wet wipes before you touch anything after your next visit to KFC.

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