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Experiences and expectations…

Those darn clients and their expectations…  I’m over four decades into the sales profession and I still don’t get how the client ticks.  Does client loyalty still exist?  Or have buying patterns become solely based on quickest; cheapest; and most convenient?  Maybe it’s me – I’m a client, too.

Maybe it’s the way other vendors confuse them (and us).  I mean, we have all experienced those quirky processes and procedures other vendors have set up:

Why is it that it takes only a few minutes and no paperwork to pick up or drop off a rental car at Hertz’s #1 Club Gold, but twice that time and an annoying name/address form to check into a Hilton hotel?  Are they afraid you’ll steal the room? 

Michael Tracy

Who do you think has set the bar for delighting clients and exceeding expectations today?  Is it Amazon that has captured our loyalty?  Is it all those craft brewers that are everywhere?  How about Google?  Google responds to any and every type of inquiry we make no matter what.  Has Google become so ubiquitous that we don’t even think about them as exceeding client expectations?

As coffee shops and destinations go Starbucks seems to be continuing their dominance.  Although just this morning I had what I would describe as my first disappointing experience at a Starbucks from a client expectation standpoint.  The barista took my order and simply forgot to fill it.

Yes, she was busy; the store was understaffed; the 4 employees had to cover both the counter and the drive-thru.  OK – it’s just coffee, so I was patient and pleasant while standing there.  Since I wasn’t in a hurry, it became almost amusing.  Almost.  In their haste to keep up, they all four saw me standing there; they all four assumed their colleague was filling my order.  One of them finally noticed that she was filling orders from other clients that came in after I was standing there.  That’s when it was finally my turn – “Tall Blonde roast; no room”.

I can’t say this simple experience won’t impact my future preference.  In the 21st century, any and every simple experience can impact clients’ future buying preferences, don’t you think?  David Siegel does:

Do 80 percent of what you need to do, and 100 percent of your customers will go someplace else.

You see, mornings are my time for writing.  And not every morning because like you I have this prior commitment I must tend to from time to time called my full-time job.  So, when I have the opportunity to spend an hour or so reflecting and writing about things that occur in my world, a bad customer service experience can get in the way.

Yes, I will return to Starbucks in the future; but maybe not this location.  Every time I drive by I will remember that “last time…”  There’s always another coffee shop up ahead.

Such neglectful inconveniences happen almost daily:

Why is it that Land’s End remembers your last order and your family members’ sizes, but after 10 years of membership, you are still being solicited by American Express to join?

Michael Tracy

I’m an ex-AMEX client.  They “disappointed and inconvenienced” me once in a memorable way for all the wrong reasons.  And there’s always another credit card company up ahead.

So, I ask – how loyal are you to your providers when they misunderstand your expectations and provide you with a disappointing experience?  Is there always another provider up ahead for you?

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

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