Customer Experience That’ll Bring the House Down: Lessons from the Sydney Opera House

by Vijayanta Gupta

Posted on 05-01-2018

Maybe it’s just me, but don’t you think it’s a tad unfair that at the end of an opera per­for­mance it’s only the cast that takes the applause? Sure, I know that’s who the audi­ence has paid to see, and they’ve had all the stress of per­form­ing, but what about the rest of the staff? The peo­ple back­stage ensur­ing the per­for­mance runs smooth­ly, the artists who put the scenery togeth­er, the pro­duc­ers and run­ners all play an impor­tant role in mak­ing the final per­for­mance as mem­o­rable as pos­si­ble. Don’t they deserve a shout out too?

What got me think­ing about this was one of our cus­tomers, the Syd­ney Opera House. The Opera House has long been asso­ci­at­ed with innovation—from its unique build­ing to the excep­tion­al per­for­mances it stages each year. This inno­va­tion-cen­tric­i­ty can be seen in its approach towards cus­tomer experience.

Total expe­ri­ences

For the Syd­ney Opera House, cus­tomer expe­ri­ence isn’t lim­it­ed to the phys­i­cal venue: it believes that cus­tomers should expe­ri­ence a lit­tle mag­ic at every one of its cus­tomer touch­points, includ­ing dig­i­tal ones. It under­stands a fun­da­men­tal fact about cus­tomer expe­ri­ence best prac­tice: every touch­point mat­ters equal­ly; every touch­point is part of the brand. This is expe­ri­ence seen in its totality.

What is Syd­ney Opera House doing dif­fer­ent­ly? For cus­tomers, much of the impor­tant work has gone on in the dig­i­tal equiv­a­lent of back­stage. The main change was that the com­pa­ny got rid of its many siloed and dis­con­nect­ed mar­ket­ing plat­forms and tools, replac­ing them with a more joined-up approach that they deliv­ered through Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud.

As well as mak­ing it eas­i­er to put new con­tent online and beef up the resilience of its ecom­merce oper­a­tions, The Syd­ney Opera House’s new mar­ket­ing plat­form enables it to under­stand its cus­tomers bet­ter by increas­ing vis­i­bil­i­ty into their behav­iour and pref­er­ences at every touch­point. This deep­er under­stand­ing allows the Opera House to bet­ter curate and per­son­alise con­tent across its channels.

Find out more about what Syd­ney Opera House is doing here:

Towards the extraordinary

From when a cus­tomer first vis­its the web­site to when that same cus­tomer vis­its the icon­ic venue, the Syd­ney Opera House has made sure that the expe­ri­ence they under­go makes them want to come back time and again. Jørn Utzon, the archi­tect of the Syd­ney Opera House, once described the jour­ney across its fore­court and up its steps as one of mov­ing “from the ordi­nary to the extra­or­di­nary.” Today the com­pa­ny is achiev­ing some­thing very sim­i­lar with its dig­i­tal experiences.

What’s its secret? The most impor­tant change can be summed up in one word: inte­gra­tion. This may not be the most thrilling top­ic out there, but it lies at the heart of excep­tion­al cus­tomer expe­ri­ences. Inte­gra­tion is what archi­tects an enter­prise for tak­ing action in mil­lisec­onds. Inte­gra­tion is what leads to inter­nal stream­lin­ing, and inter­nal stream­lin­ing is a pre-req­ui­site for cre­at­ing bet­ter exter­nal expe­ri­ences. Only by inte­grat­ing the var­i­ous data, sys­tems and tools that go into mod­ern mar­ket­ing can you gain a sin­gle, true view of the cus­tomer to seam­less­ly and con­sis­tent­ly deliv­er con­tent across every chan­nel. Cus­tomer expe­ri­ence lead­ers like the Syd­ney Opera House realise that they need to bring everything—the best con­tent, the best data, and the best tools—together on one plat­form to deliv­er amaz­ing expe­ri­ences that will leave a last­ing impression.

Expe­ri­ences worth singing about

OK, so inte­gra­tion isn’t glam­orous, and we won’t see inte­gra­tion tech­nolo­gies receiv­ing the kind of excit­ed plau­dits gar­land­ing AI and VR, the emerg­ing stars of mar­ket­ing tech­nolo­gies cur­rent­ly gar­ner­ing applause from cus­tomers. But behind the scenes the under­pin­ning pro­vid­ed by a seam­less mar­ket­ing plat­form is just as impor­tant. If your mar­ket­ing and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence efforts are still oper­at­ing in siloes it’s time to change—and fast. It’s ear­ly days, but by the time the cur­tain call comes you’ll need to be ready, and that means being able to join up all your chan­nels, data and con­tent with ease. If not, you might find the opera goes on with­out you.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Content, Innovation, Integration, personalisation, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA