As July, holiday season, has begun, I will take you on a trip. Now it will be a virtual tour. And if you decide to go somewhere during this strangest holiday season, I encourage you to visit Warsaw. Below you will find a list of attractions for the weekend in Warsaw. It will be full of inspirations for developing customer experience.
As you remember from the first article, customer experience is not only about customer service. It is about emotions, impressions, associations, opinions. It is about touch points that the customer experiences with your brand. From the second article you also know that a lot of changes are currently taking place, consumer behaviour is changing. That’s why I want to encourage you to look for inspirations for enhancing customer experience in some places and industries that are not so obvious. Ready? Here we go!
Copernicus Science Centre – testing
I’ve never been an ace in physics. It was a subject which, despite all its accuracy, is too abstract for me. That’s why I was delaying my visit to Copernicus Science Centre. Because of the lack of understanding of physics and the conviction that this is a place to play for children.
Later on, it turned out that having contact with various phenomena in practice, the crazy equations from high school started to make sense. At least until I had to solve them again. Refraining from going to this Centre would have cost me a really interesting experience!
Copernicus Science Center is already a classic venue. That’s why it opens a list of inspirations and attractions for the weekend in Warsaw. Since 2010 it has been operating by the Vistula river, developing science, inspiring observations, encouraging experiences, asking questions and searching for answers. The Centre displays over 400 objects at several interactive exhibitions. It offers events for different age groups (e.g. weekend laboratories). The ticket also includes scientific “spectacles” (Robotic Theatre and High Voltage Theatre) and a visit to the planetarium.
From my perspective, such centers reflect what we are looking for also in other circumstances. Consumer behaviour is influenced by a faster life and an instant gratification system from social media. We have certainly become impatient as customers. On the other hand, many purchasing decisions are made more consciously. Whether it concerns the environment or price.
- showrooming – easy to remember because of fashion industry. Customers first go to a physical location to see, try and check the goods live. Then they make their purchases online. In most cases this is the case with clothes. Foe me it’s the way to buy perfume.
- webrooming is the opposite. Customer search the Internet first. They get to know manufacturers, opinions, prices, products. The purchase is then made in a physical store. This is most often the case with electronics.
My inspiration from the Copernicus Science Centre for customer experience is to introduce the possibility of testing your products. A bit like when you can’t decide which ice cream to get – chocolate or cream? You can try each of the flavors and choose the one that you like more. This is an example of how to imagine showrooming, although here we’d buy straight away. Pistachio solves all kinds of dilemmas, but you know – it is not always available. That’s why your friend could recommend you a third option – salted caramel. You can decide to go for it based on their opinion. Webrooming works in a similar way – we read opinions and learn about products on the web.
Possibility of testing is linked with the acquisition or practice of new skills. In order to put this in practice you could:
- In a restaurant conduct cooking classes.
- In handmade products, including cosmetics, “how to” workshops would be a nice idea. This could be done even remotely!
- In a cafe it could be a barista show teaching how to get the best taste out of coffee beans.
Remember also that no matter what you do, you can be reached by people who have never been in contact with a particular field before. A mini guide in the form of a glossary (e.g. an additional tab on the page), blog articles or drawings and short descriptions would be helpful.
And since we have already talked about coffee. Not so long ago I had no idea about the differences in coffee brewing – chemex, V60, slow press… Everything sounded equally mysterious and made me feel ashamed during the order. Definitely it wasn’t a good experience for me. 😉 Until at one cafe everything was explained and the staff was happy to provide further information in a friendly manner.
Cosmos Museum – instagrammable place
We’re in the mood to experiment, so it’s time for some cosmic… pictures. I mentioned above how social media made us dependent on expecting immediate results. In many cases they also determine places “to be”, the products “to use”. All of it to stay up to date and belong to a particular group. There are even special hashtags on Instagram that can help. Yes, I know, because I once looked through them… 😉
I was encouraged to visit Cosmos Museum (museum of illusions and contemporary art) by the idea of interactive exhibition and beautiful pictures. And I won’t admit how many of them I made while wandering around two floors with only 50 exhibits. After all, a weekend in Warsaw is more than just a photo of the Palace of Culture and Science.
The museum has its scientific aspect, but it is the illusions and visual experience that guarantee its popularity. It is thanks to the help of social media. On their website, the owners encourage interaction during and after the visit:
“Take your time to walk around the exhibits. How do you feel? Study your feelings and share them with your friends. We hope you learn something new about yourself and your inner space.”Cosmos Museum webiste
What I consider to be the biggest inspiration from this experience is:
- to realize the power of social media and visual communication,
- encouraging customers to share their experiences,
- consider factor of how instagrammable is the place, product or the service.
Easy to say, hard to do? There are some simple ideas on how to improve photos:
- using the folding/bounce reflector to illuminate better the photographed objects
- using a light-coloured vinyl cladding as a background to simulate a table, wall or floor
- gathering box of photo accessories (this will also help with consistency)
I am also trying to make my pictures more and more attractive to you. If you have any comments or suggestions, I will be happy to read them!
Invisible Exhibition – accessibility adjustments
Another less known place among the attractions for the weekend in Warsaw is the Invisible Exhibition. It occupies a special place on my list because it is based on the senses, experience and empathy. The organizers inform on the website:
“The Invisible Exhibition wants to bring closer together the perspectives of experiencing one world – the seeing and the blind. Under the care of blind guides you will visit specially equipped and completely darkened rooms. You will experience how to move around in the hustle and bustle of the city, how to pay for coffee in a bar, how to move around the apartment in total darkness and more…”Invisible Exhibition website
I won’t tell you more. You just have to experience it. And as an inspiration, think whether your services or products give the opportunity to be used by people with disabilities (e.g. is there a wheelchair ramp). And while talking about the sight – if you have a website, remember that when adding images, the “alt text” function is one of the aids. All you need to do is place a description of what is in the picture. Recently Facebook has also introduced the possibility of adding such descriptions to posts.
Warsaw “Fotoplastikon” – identity
After such a dose of modern solutions, multimedia, screens, applications, sounds… Let’s slow down for a moment before the last point. There is probably another little known place in Warsaw. And yet worth visiting. This is the Warsaw “Fotoplasticon” a machine from the end of 19th century, which is used to present a collection of photographs. The photographs can be viewed at several positions through “binoculars” built into the walls of a large and round wooden camera. This is the only device of that type in Poland (perhaps even in Europe) that has been operating in the same place since 1905. So you can feel the atmosphere of pre-war Warsaw here. Tickets are ridiculously cheap, so it’s really a sin not to go.
But what is has to do with a modern customer experience? Let me tell you!
- History creates identity. In a physical space appreciate architectural elements, furniture. Perhaps giving what you don’t love a second life will pay you back. Or maybe you have interesting photographs that you can display to support your brand history? For personal brand use for example photos from trainings or conferences. Do you know that in the course of creating a brand there is a step in which we imagine our brand as a person (the so-called brand archetype)? Who would they be, what would they character be? This is a good exercise that will help you create the identity, mission and vision.
- At “Fotoplastikon” we travel in time due to decor and photos. Believe me, coming out of this place and looking at contemporary Warsaw is a strange feeling. Literally “Back to the Future”. So think what kind of atmosphere you want to create. It doesn’t matter whether you’re online or offline. You can impact senses either directly (e.g. the texture of the material you make the product from) or indirectly. It would be through your imagination (e.g. imagining taste, describing it, associations and smells).
Warsaw Rising Museum – narrative
The list of attractions for the weekend in Warsaw was opened by a “must see” place, so such a place closes it too. I remember the first visit to this museum 12 years ago. It was something incredible – a museum where the visit was not based on looking at the exhibits behind the glass and reading a small text. Later I have been to the Warsaw Rising Museum several more times.
The museum is located in the building of a former tramway power plant from the early 20th century. The heart (truly beating!) of the building is a steel structure with the calendar of the uprising.
The sightseeing is constructed like a story. We learn the history of the uprising chronologically. We watch recordings, listen to sounds, touch walls with bullet holes, walk through channels. Image, light and sound build up the atmosphere and sink us into the history, take us back to 1944.
If we take into account customer experience, this is the greatest inspiration from this museum – narration. The past is the source of the story. Just like “Fotoplastikon” takes us to pre-war Warsaw, the Warsaw Rising Museum takes us to 1944. You can also take your clients to any place with an appropriate narrative. Build your story, note down moments, anecdotes, connect your past with presence. Yes, I mean pay attention to storytelling. 😊 For me it’s also a skill that I’m learning. I hope we’ll get better at this!
So, how are you feeling? Are you planning a trip to Warsaw, or maybe you will start by testing the ideas after this virtual tour? I’ll certainly be looking for my next visit to Warsaw. And for new inspirations among the attractions for the weekend in Warsaw.