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Does The Experience Trump The Product (Service)?

November 2, 2015

We’re in a golden age of choice for customers, as there are typically multiple options when it comes to products or services. To get the customer’s dollar, companies compete on price, innovation, savings gained (both time and money), but rarely do companies choose to compete on the customer’s actual experience. 
 

2011 American Express survey estimates $84 billion dollars in the United States alone was missed out on by companies due to poor customer service. A 2009 HBR article revealed that 40% of customers who suffer through bad experiences will stop doing business with that company. 
 

The takeaway? Your product or service is never going to be so fantastic nor so unique that people won’t walk away if you deliver poor service. 
 

We spend months working on product road maps. We debate whether to use an 11- or 12-point font on marketing messages to customers. But do we really stop to think about the impact every interaction has on customers?
 

Here are some tips and suggestions to make sure each interaction you have with a customer leads to winning and retaining those customers.
 

Care About Me
 

A 2014 Entrepreneur article said customers want to know if a vendor, “cares about me.” It’s that simple. But proving you care about your customers is not quite as easy as sending an email saying you care. You have to demonstrate you care. How? It can be anything from the tone of voice, to how you handle negative situations, or even knowing some personal information about your customers. Do they have kids? What do they like doing on the weekends? 
 

Demonstrate you care by getting to know your customer. Take notes! Use the information you gather to provide better service. 
 

Be Nice

 

We did an in-depth analysis on how much it costs to be nice. 
 

The results? Nothing. It’s free! 
 

Kiss Metrics claims the #1 reason people abandon a brand is because of “poor quality and rude customer service.” Want to see for yourself? Just Google bad customer service stories. You’ll be shocked. These aren’t isolated incidents. 
 

Being nice is one of the most powerful sales, marketing, and customer retention tools we have– and it’s absolutely free! Yet we spend unbelievable amounts of money on marketing slicks, presentations, giveaways, entertainment expenses, etc., but we can’t be nice? 
 

Interaction = Impact
 

The most important thing to understand is that every interaction we have with a customer has an impact on that relationship, whether you initiated the contact or not. Whether you’re talking about what you want to talk about or not. Each interaction has either a positive or negative impact on that customer. Which makes every interaction an incredible opportunity. 
 

The overall experience a customer has with a brand will determine the value of that brand. Bells, whistles, and cool advertising can’t erase a poor experience. And the loyalty you gain from a customer who has a great experience can’t be purchased.  

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