Heidi has purchased your product and has brought it home. She wants to put it to use to help her get her job done. Now is the time for you to DELIVER on your part of the Customer Journey Experience.
Customer Journey Experience
Remember the primary reason Heidi bought your product – she believes it will deliver the outcomes she requires in getting the job done better than your competition. It doesn’t matter if that job is buying a designer bag, a knockdown set of shelves from IKEA or a new face cleansing lotion. Your product is there to perform a service for her, so your own approach needs to be service-centric rather than product-centric.
Gains and Pains
You might think this is a rational sort of process. But significant research has shown that about 50% of the customer experience is emotional and so how well you manage those emotions can be critical to your ongoing success. Emotions can be split into two basic areas – the Gains and Pains associated with the experience. Your job always in co-creating value is to reinforce Heidi’s perception of how excellently, together, you have maximized the gains and minimized the pains.
Let’s see these Gains and Pains in the form of an equation:
(Results + Process + Emotional Value)
Perceived Service Value = —————————————————
(Price + Inconvenience + Uncertainties)
The gains are the top line – the outcomes Heidi expects, the enjoyment of the journey via the process, and a positive emotional experience. The pains are the bottom line, the price to be paid – in money, negative emotions, and time as examples.
Take an example:
Heidi has bought a product that requires assembly it at home. It might be IKEA shelving, it might be a home theatre set; the key issue is that Heidi has a whole lot of bits that she has never seen before that she has to make sense of.
Wikipedia describes how buyer remorse may stem from fear of making the wrong choice, guilt over extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the seller. The first task you have is to meet Heidi’s buyer remorse or post-purchase depression. Heidi is worried that she has made a mistake, so you must reassure her and tell her how her choice was not only smart but beats the competition hands down. If you don’t she will likely go on the internet and hunt for comparisons, so it won’t hurt you to include a simple brochure that highlights how Heidi will experience the outcomes she wants from your product.
For the home theatre system, supply words and images that provide the heightened sense of actually being there as she watches her favorite movie to a standard similar to being in a cinema without the hassles. The superior sound system that is unsurpassed. Etc etc.
Unpacking Your Product
With her new surround-sound hi-definition home theatre, Heidi is now very clear about the gains she expects from it, how it will enthrall her and blow the socks off her friends. With the boxes of goodies delivered to her home, her emotional state includes excitement and anticipation in seeing her new service working. She can hardly wait to open the boxes, plug in the new HD TV and play something on the DVD. Then get on the phone and brag to her friends.
On the other hand, Heidi has already experienced a couple of the pains involved in the purchase – the price and the evaluation process. She is now facing another pain as she sees that there is work to do before she can enjoy the outcome. This can cause an immediate build-up of stress because Heidi has never attempted anything like this assembly process before, and you must help her lesson that fear so that the rest of the process proceeds smoothly.
Examples of pains you need to take away include:
- Is the box easy to open?
- Can I manage the weight of the TV by myself?
- Did they damage it?
- Do I need any special tools?
- Where do all these cables belong?
- What should I do first?
- Is there a simple quick start guide to give me confidence as well as the full instruction manual?
- What am I going to do with my old TV?
If you don’t answer these questions well in your processes and instructions then the emotions that Heidi will experience will include frustration, disappointment, irritation and anger, all directed at you – and rightly so. You have designed her experience (through your neglect or laziness) to ensure she will never come back to you and certainly won’t be recommending you to her friends.
Have you seen the instructions that come with a Hewlett Packard laser toner refill?
Big numbered sequence of steps with simple but clear diagrams? So imagine with our home theatre setup, instead of pulling out a whole series of plastic packages and boxes that need Heidi to go to the manual to name, each sub-set is already labeled with a big number and a name, like this:
- Quick Start Guide
- TV power cable
- Indovision plug-in guide
- combination remote control
- DVD power cable
- TV/DVD connection cables
- Base speaker
- Front side speakers
- Rear speakers
- speaker cables, front
- speaker cables, rear
- troubleshooting guide
- User Manual
- Warranty card
Now you have Started being Helpful!
Go a step further and put a small diagram into the packages with cables that show what plugs into what and where; Heidi is getting the information she needs at the time she needs it. You have also started with the easiest thing, the TV, that she can immediately plug in and test, to get some quick hits. Gaining confidence with the familiar, she moves on to progressively more complex tasks that she finds she can handle in her stride.
You are delivering for her, you are being helpful and interesting and the process is more likely to be fun. You are generating more positive emotions. Heidi is now feeling more stimulated, energetic and interested. You have helped to remove Heidi’s pains so that the two key emotions. You are aiming to generate (happiness and pleasure) will drive recommendations to friends and family, and repeat purchases with you.
If you are sending your product to a market with a different language to yours, have your material translated by a local professional. I still recall from years ago when working for Nissan Motor I received a new car accessory for stock; part of the instructions included the warning, “Do not connect this into wrong volts or you will receive majestic problems.”
So far all the experiences Heidi has experienced with you have been positive. They count as nothing if you haven’t helped her meet the outcomes she is looking for. This is the practical side of the purchase, and your goal has always been to help supply those outcomes with perfection. This is how you win market share and increase your profits.
In summary, you have delivered on required outcomes, provided an enjoyable process, enhanced positive emotions, eliminated all the uncertainties you are aware of. You can also remove the most annoying inconveniences. For Heidi, the price paid is now a distant memory.
YOUR next area of focus is after-sales advocacy.