It seems more and more these days I come across a company that places more value on the company experience than the customer experience. For example, I recently booked a vacation and then had to cancel knowing that I wouldn’t get my deposit back in cash but rather as a credit towards a future trip. No big deal, I was ok with that until I went to book another trip. The company I booked through called Easyrez.ca was going to give me a a portion of my credit towards another trip because it was for fewer days and lesser value. It seems Easyrez.ca was more interested in maximizing their profit than making sure I had a nice enjoyable trip.
This is a great illustration of how companies have processes & policies that are out of alignment in supporting a great customer experience. To create great customer experience you need to have all four P’s (people, product, policy and processes), not just one or two, aligned to create a great customer experience. Why? because great customer experience leads to brand equity enhancements and the potential for future revenue streams.
Maximizing your ROI on marketing activity means that you treat every potential new user like gold. It’s so hard these days, as well as expensive, to attract a new customer that when you get one it’s critical that you ensure they have a great experience THE FIRST TIME. Even if this means the first transaction is at lower margins or at break-even. The key to success is thinking about customers in the context of the future opportunity not just the one transaction. Using a “long-term value” or LTV perspective on customers helps eliminate some of the short-sightedness that company’s can have.
Companies like Apple, Starbucks and Costco truly understand the value of keeping customers happy is the key to success. That’s why Starbucks gives you a free coffee if you have to wait too long or Costco will take back just about any purchase in any condition. The emotional reward you get by these little actions builds and enhances your perception of these brands. Your confidence in these brands grows and your willingness to do more business with them grows as well. Your ‘liklihood to recommend’ as measured in tracking studies will increase and lead to subsequent new business.
Companies that have “unfriendly” policies in place that detract from a positive customer experience are actually eroding brand value and weakening the long-term opportunity for growth. People/customers do business with people/businesses they like. It’s an axiom that guides us everyday in our lives and is unconscious for the most part. We tend to stay away from people we dislike for various reasons and gravitate to people that make us feel good or treat us fairly. The same goes for business.
Every business needs to have policies in place to manage the risk of fraud or abuse which is understandable. But policies should be designed to enhance the customer experience not detract from it. In the case of Easyrez.ca they put profit ahead of customer experience which is short sighted.