Monday, December 3, 2018

Why Do Customer Experiences Have to Be So Different?

Just like you, I interact with a variety of brands on a daily basis. From the moment I wake up to a radio alarm, there’s my preferred radio station. Then, there’s the waffle and orange juice I choose for breakfast. There are the news sites I read on my smartphone and tablet and the TV news channels I watch. And there are the two virtual assistants I speak to in order to learn the outside temperature. And there are the clothing items I choose and the shampoo, soap, and toothpaste I use. With only an hour of my day gone, that’s at least 20 brands before I start my work day. I cannot imagine how many brands I will interact with before the end of the day!

So, with this large brand number in mind, why do customer experiences have to be so different? Two recent customer experiences stand out because they were so different.

I visited a store that sells boxes – you would immediately recognize the national brand name because it is known as a moving equipment and storage rental company. Once I had selected the boxes I wished to purchase, I saw a sign that read:
“$6.99 for one box, but as low as $4.99 with a 10 percent discount. When I questioned the salesperson as to how many boxes I had to purchase to pay the lower price, she told me that I had to buy 10 boxes. So, I placed 10 boxes on the counter expecting to pay the $4.99 price.

Once I saw my total, I was surprised. The total for the 10 boxes was $69.99 with a single discount of $6.99. When I asked for clarification, the salesperson explained that only one box could get a discount and she did not know how to actually charge $4.99.

Wait a minute! If the signage above the boxes read “$6.99 for one box, but as low as $4.99 with a 10 percent discount,” where was the discount? In addition, how can a cashier complete transactions if he or she cannot implement discounts that are advertised less than ten feet from where they are standing? As you can imagine, I only bought five of the boxes.

Contrast that experience with this one. I was at a national pet store and saw a cat scratching post that was the right height for my two cats. However, the protective wrap around the post was open and might have slightly damaged the post – it would be impossible to tell until I got it home and completely unwrapped it. So, at the check-out counter, I showed the cashier about the wrapping and asked if I could get a discount. She didn't bat an eyelash and immediately offered a 20 percent discount while simultaneously asking, “Will that be good enough?”

These experiences reminded me of Bill Quiseng’s (@BillQuiseng on Twitter) quote:

“Businesses need to understand and educate their employees that there is a difference between taking care of a customer and caring for the customer. For example, taking care of a hotel guest is checking him quickly, giving him a key to a room that is clean and problem-free. Caring for a guest is recognizing that the guest was obviously under the weather and sending up a cup of chicken soup with a note, “Hope you are feeling better soon.” Taking care of a customer is a transaction. Genuinely caring for a customer generates an emotional connection. And emotionally engaged customers are much more loyal than merely satisfied ones.”

These two experiences left me with some important questions:
* Why are some employees empowered to create memorable and positive customer experiences for their brands and others are not?
* What causes leadership teams to train their employees to care about their customers?
* How can brands endure if they don’t create a customer-focused culture?

How would your brand have handled these different customer experiences? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment!