Q&A with Ray Sheehan, Founder of Old City Media
Connecting the dots:
Enhancing customer experience and engagement with Ray Sheehan, Founder of Old City Media
Ray Sheehan is the founder of Old City Media, a North American event production and experiential marketing agency. He has a background in strategic planning, marketing, event management, and advertising and has helped the company expand from one local presence to an international agency. Prior to this role, Ray partnered with production company UpcomingEvents.com and worked for 20th Century FOX. He oversaw all aspects of the business and produced a syndicated television show for FOX. In 2020, he launched the G.I.F.T Program as part of Old City Media. Ray is recognized as a leader in the special events industry and an innovative thinker.
Can you provide an example of a brand that enhanced the overall customer experience and emotional connection through its physical presence?
Yes, I think T-Mobile does an excellent job of creating that connection. They engage with eye-popping setups, fun games, and entertainment. Their field marketing managers are friendly and informative, and they provide a great deal of value on location through prizes and merchandise giveaways. As a result, consumers walk away feeling they have gained something, which is a significant reward for T-Mobile.
What steps can businesses take to ensure that their employees are able to deliver a differentiated type of interaction and customer experience?
This process starts with recruitment and the interview process. I always ask candidates to tell me about themselves. I want to hear how friendly and personable they are and determine their energy level.
Once you find the ideal candidates, the focus must be on the training and leadership you have in place. The staff always follows the leadership and culture you have created, so it must be top-notch.
What are some effective strategies or tactics that businesses can use to create value for their customers and demonstrate appreciation for their support?
Value comes in many forms. There's the obvious one: price savings and discounts. However, there are other forms of value currency, including insight, which is my favourite. The bottom line is that if you can make your target audience more knowledgeable about something, you will build the kind of trust required for success.
Value can also be simple. We love giving away merchandise within our activation campaigns. It may seem easy, but providing consumers with merchandise is a great way to promote your brand and build loyalty.
Can you share the benefits of consistently gathering feedback and how it strengthens the relationship between the brand and customers?
Consistently gathering feedback is crucial for the growth of any company. Not only is it important to understand how your customers perceive your company, but it also helps you understand your leadership teams. It helps you make smarter business decisions. What you thought was important might not be as important to your target audience.
Feedback is the cornerstone of your marketing strategies. It helps you address immediate issues, refine your offerings, and develop campaigns that resonate. How you respond to feedback is equally important. It demonstrates empathy, gives your customers a voice, and makes them feel like part of the brand's family as brand ambassadors.
Can you share a brand that effectively implemented customer feedback and saw tangible improvements in their customer experience as a result?
I think Comcast/XFINITY has done an excellent job on this front. Customer service at Comcast was extremely frustrating for many years. However, more recently, they have made it a focus to expand the ways customers can communicate and share feedback directly with them. Their response time has decreased, scheduling has become very dependable, and their overall accountability has improved remarkably. In fact, they now reward customers if they fail to meet their expectations.