Customer Experiences

by Vicki on May 27, 2011

Over the past nine months, my husband and I have bought, gutted and renovated a house. Believe me when I say this scale of renovation is not for the weak of heart! Through this experience, we were exposed to a whole spectrum of service and product providers. Many of these providers have met and exceeded expectations. A few have truly disappointed.

The biggest disappointers (by far!!) have been stair and railing companies. We have worked with two and our experiences with both companies have been awful – terrible communication, failure to deliver on-time, mistakes in terms of the product (i.e., mis-measures), failure to show up when promised, deliveries left in snow banks…I could go on forever but I’m sure you get the point.

Whenever I encounter a less than stellar consumer experience, I always think about how the service provider could improve his/her offering. The improvements are often quick and easy to implement and relatively painless. For example:

  • Only promise what you can deliver
  • Deliver what you promise – always
  • Take the comments of your customers seriously
  • Communicate
  • Show appreciation for your customer – they are the reason you are in business

This experience has also deepened my respect for those organizations who have sought out PROVOKE’s expertise to gain insight into their customers/stakeholders. There is much to be gained but it takes guts and a commitment to openness to truly listen to and act upon what your customers/stakeholders have to say*.

So, hats off to those organizations who truly respect, appreciate and listen to their customers. To the others, please come and finish my railings!

*For those of you who do not know, one of PROVOKE’s main methods of gathering insight is to conduct one on one, confidential qualitative interviews with customers/stakeholders. How do we do it? We pre-book telephone interviews with customers/stakeholders, call them at a given time, and talk with them to understand what their experience has been with a given organization. This method allows us to collect deeply relevant insights for our clients in a non-obtrusive way, allows the client to hear the unedited experience of their customers/stakeholders AND the customers/stakeholders truly feel (and actually are) heard. Empowering stuff.

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