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What businesses can learn from Japanese tea ceremonies

Amanda Stevens thinks businesses have a lot to learn from Japanese tea ceremonies. Source: Getty

“Has anyone ever sat through a Japanese tea ceremony?” Marketing strategist, Amanda Stevens, asked Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit audience.

Tea ceremonies, which take around 20 to 25 minutes, Stevens explained, “could not be more relevant to where the customer experience opportunity exists right now for every different industry”.

“The tea served at the end of the Japanese tea ceremony rated way higher in taste test research than the same tea from the same pot served into the same cup at the start of the ceremony,” Stevens said.

“If that hasn’t got your spine tingling about your ability to deliver a sense of ceremony to your customers to enhance value, the perceived value of your product or service, come and see me over lunch.”

Customer satisfaction is not enough

Stevens told the audience that businesses can grow “exponentially” via the customer experience, and are missing the opportunity to do so by focusing on keeping customers simply “satisfied”.

“It's no longer enough to be striving for satisfied customers,” Stevens said. “If you are still striving for 100 per cent satisfaction - and a lot of brands still are - I implore you to change the game and to be striving for something a little bit better than that.”

‘Customer experience reviews should be daily’

And increasing the customer experience can come from harnessing the best of ‘high tech’ and the best of ‘high touch’, Stevens said.

“The brands and businesses that are going to win big in the next few years are very clear on the retail customer and very clear on the position that they hold in the market, and are actually unafraid to become a little bit more niche in what they’re offering.”

Being a frictionless business for the busy consumer is key, Stevens explained, and evaluating the customer experience can no longer be something businesses are reviewing annually.

“It's going to be literally every day, ‘what can we be doing?’”

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