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exceed expectations

How To Exceed Expectations In The Customer Experience

Last year I injured myself doing CrossFit. Like so many others I had started cross-fitting and I loved it! The only problem was that I had lifted too much and too quickly without listening to my body. After some minor injuries, that I ignored, I injured some discs in my back and I finally realised that I wasn’t going back any time soon. So I made the tough decision to cancel my membership.

However, the CrossFit gym didn’t stop sending me newsletter emails and updates (which I thought was quite annoying). It finally became too much for me and I replied to one of the emails. In the header I wrote “unsubscribe, please”. I figured, that would be that, and didn’t give it much thought.

But some days later I received an email from the gym. Like many others, I receive a lot of automated emails in my inbox, so getting one which wasn’t, naturally caught my interest. The header said “Unsubscribe and a little more”. It was a personal note from the gym manager, Ed, who had started at the gym after I had left.

Getting more than you expect really matters

Ed wrote to me that he had been told that I used to be quite an active member once and that he had also learned about my injury. He offered me a free session, where he would try to understand my injuries and help me get better. At this point I had been seeing so many different types of doctors and specialists, all arguing different cases and courses of treatment for my injury, and all unsuccessful.

So, I figured that I had nothing to lose and took him up on his offer. Realising that he was probably doing this to get me back as a member, he still was able to exceed expectations by offering me something and not expecting anything in return. If you’ve tried it, you will probably agree that it’s actually quite moving when someone outside your own family or circle of friends takes an interest in your well-being.

the customer experience

Anyway, I went to meet with Ed, and we had a good session. He gave me some pointers to what I should and shouldn’t be doing and worked with me to sort out what was the underlying reasons for my injury.

That day, I had planned to pick up my training shoes, my jump rope and some other training gear from the gym, but when leaving I changed my mind. Suddenly, I was thinking that I might as well leave the gear, since I would need it once I was completely over my back injury and joined the gym again!

As an extra follow up with me, Ed sent me personalised video that same day, summing up the points we had gone over, so I could always revisit the points he had made. Talk about making the effort to exceed expectations in the customer experience!

How is your customer experience?

So why write this post? Well, we should all remember that even when you are losing your customer, it’s never too late to win them back. But, automated emails aren’t always going to do the job. Sometimes it takes some personal effort to exceed expectations in the customer experience.

Do you want to learn more about managing the customer experience or how to engage more with visiting customers? Then read on here and here. Stay tuned!

The curse of post purchase surveys

I recently had my Internet connection upgraded at home. The technician was there for roughly 20 minutes, in which time frame he installed the Coax connection.

Less than half an hour after his visit, I received a text message asking me to rate my experience. I was kind of baffled by the question, as I wasn’t sure whether I was supposed to rate the way he rang my door bell, or the way he entered my home, or how he way he sat quietly in the corner of my living room doing his job. Because that’s what he did – his job. I wasn’t sure how to respond to the survey, as I didn’t see how my experience could have been improved. I was indifferent. Or to put it differently, I guess my experience lived up to my minimum expectations. The minimum expectation being that I had a working Internet connection once the technician had left.

What is the purpose of post purchase surveys?

Post purchase surveys are here to stay. The trend seems to be to seek out feedback from the existing customer base and ask for feedback on some part of their experience. However, there are some inherent problems with performing these surveys.

the purpose of post purchase surveys

Firstly, I guess the real issue is to understand what the core purpose of post purchase surveys is. If it’s to understand and improve the customer experience of the existing customers, then it’s obviously a great idea to shoot someone an email containing a survey with a few questions.

 

However, the surveyor should be aware that by segmenting their visitors in this way, they exclude an important segment, who’s voice is important.

Shoe store example

Imagine that you are the proud owner of a shoe store. Within one hour, three potential customers enter your store. Two of them purchase a pair of shoes each. The third leaves without buying anything. This is not an unlikely scenario, as research shows that one in three customers leave a retail store empty handedly.

post purchase survey in shoe store

Now, if you had to choose between which one of the three you would like feedback from, which one would you pick? Well, if you’re the type of business owner or a store manager who wants your shoe store to grow through improved customer experience, then you know that you would have to pick the non-purchaser, right? The customers who already made a purchase has, by their actions, already proven that what you had to offer was enough to convince them to purchase.

Sure, by asking about her experience you can fine-tune the customer experience. But if these surveys are supposed to help understand customer experiences, then why only settle for the purchasing customer base?

Post purchase surveys surely serve a purpose, but for it to make sense, you should ask everybody, not only the ones who purchase.

Choosing convenience over curiosity

post purchase surveys are convenientThere are several reasons why many businesses within the service and retail industry use post-purchase surveys. The practical reasons include: Customer contact data is readily available and hence it’s easy to send off an email.

Secondly, if data about the purchase itself is available then the survey response is further enriched by this data. This makes it an important data set for further analysis.

Finally, the feedback that you receive from people who chose to do business with you, is already segmented. That means that you are probably going to get feedback that resonates well with the self image that you have created for yourself. In other words: This is the kind of feedback that will contribute to sustaining status quo.

Focus on the non-purchasers and learn more

On the other hand, obtaining feedback from non-purchasers is tricky. Contact details may not be available, which means that you have to rely on a pull strategy to attract your responders. Data about the purchase isn’t available, and the feedback could potentially be more difficult to work with.

So why go for the non-purchasers? Well, I would argue that it’s because the feedback that you least want to hear (and let’s face it, the people who didn’t purchase are probably inclined to criticize something in your store) is often the feedback that you learn the most from.

However, being open to receiving that kind of feedback isn’t for everyone. It depends on what kind of feedback culture that exists in the organization and that’s an entirely different blog post!

Be sure to stay tuned for new posts, visit some of our most recent blog post here.

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