The 'Alone Together' customer experience trend

February 6, 2015 Laura McDaniel

From Starbucks To Hotel Design To Retail Banking

Micah Soloman recently wrote an article for Forbes that caused debate around our office. Would a bank be a more suitable place to work from, rather than your corner coffee shop? The majority declared it would be if they offered coffee as well. So according to our office, if you provide coffee and free wi-fi, you are deemed an acceptable place to park it for the day. See what you think - 

If you want to create a successful customer experience today, learn to accommodate customers who want “alone together” time. Whether they’re millennials, Gen X, Boomers or Silent Generation, this concept has grown quickly in importance to today’s customers.

Including, at this very moment, a customer called “me.”

I’m writing this article in a comfortable booth at a charming, funky diner a couple of blocks from my home. On its face, this makes little sense. I have other places to work, yet I choose to work here—and have for years in a variety of diners and similar noisy (but not too noisy) public spaces.

Lattes and Laptops: Providing an ‘alone together’ customer experience to serve today’s customer

I’m not the only one doing private work in public. Today’s customers, including the important millennial generation of customers (the largest generation in history and soon to be dominant in purchasing power as well) are doing a lot of the same, a phenomenon that ever business need to be aware of. The Futures Company has dubbed this the “Latte and Laptop” customer: the guest, customer or traveler who craves a communal setting where, paradoxically, she can do private work.

From Starbucks to your local gym

Many types of business can accommodate and benefit from this phenomenon by harnessing the power of shared experiences and the way that visible sharing tends to lead to more and more people wanting to share an experience as time goes on. Restaurants, coffee shops–including, most famously, of course, Starbucks–even gyms have been adapting to this behavior, working to make spaces and social groupings more fluid.

Read the entire article here

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