The Extreme In-Mall Social Customer Experience: Coming Winter 2014

By: Matthew @BlogCX Thomas

Collaboration between two leading businesses has resulted in a synergy that has improved and enhanced the Customer Experience. Macerich, a real estate investment trust that counts among its assets more than 50 regional shopping centers, has partnered with HGTV, a top lifestyle and entertainment channel, to revolutionize the holiday experience at malls across America.

Santa HQ: Bringing the Holiday Shopping Tradition into the 21st Century

According to a recent press release, the partnership will produce the launch of Santa HQ, a digital and interactive innovation in CX that enables children to meet Santa and his workshop full of elves in the context of 21st-century technology. At select locations across the country, kids will be able not only to visit and take photos with Santa, but instantly share the experience across a range of social media platforms.

Santa HQ will be featured at ten shopping malls in different parts of the country beginning this fall. Shannon Jamison Driver, the senior VP of marketing and creative at HGTV, applauds the new initiative as a way for HGTV to get unparalleled access to, and face-to-face connection with, their fans and viewers across the United States.

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The Key to Improving CX: Anticipating Customers’ Needs

Ken Volk, a senior VP at Macerich, emphasized the importance of CX in discussing the deal. For both companies, the benefits that accrue from the new initiative are numerous, but the real asset is the ability to anticipate, create, and meet customer demand. Macerich and HGTV looked at the traditional holiday shopping experience and saw an outdated practice in need of revamping.

Holiday shopping has a reputation for being a tiring and stressful time. It is a clear example of a CX (with a variety of businesses) that could use improving. Macerich and HGTV recognized the opportunity to provide their customers with a way to improve the holiday shopping experience – one they may not have even known they needed.

For the purposes of CX, this partnership serves as more than a reminder to look at longstanding (and perhaps outworn) customer habits with fresh eyes.

Collaboration Across Industries Proves a Key Advantage

The partnership also highlights the significance of collaboration across industries to achieve something new in CX. Macerich is a real estate investment company, and HGTV is an entertainment cable network. Despite their very different products and marketplaces, they reached out to one another because of an opportunity that links them, represented, in this case, by the holiday shopper. Through the efforts of the marketing agency Pop2Life, they were able to find a common ground that allows them to provide their customers with an enhanced shopping experience.

For HGTV in particular, the initiative represents a key opportunity to learn more about their customers’ preferences and viewing habits. This will enable them to develop new products and services that will continue to broaden and improve CX in the future.

The Rewards of Commitment to CX

CX is about the willingness to examine customers’ habits and assess their potential needs, as well as the willingness to build bridges across industry sectors to provide new and innovative services for existing clientele. In their new partnership, these companies exemplify their commitment to both of these practices. Their dedication to CX means that Santa HQ will likely soon be arriving in a town near you.

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Matthew Thomas
Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.
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