Why is a hotel always full while the next door one is empty, although they offer the same services at comparable prices? Why does a certain video game convince millions to play it, while others struggle with a lot less buyers, although they are a bit cheaper? Why does an IT product sell, while others don’t, although they provide similar features? Why do you need an appointment made weeks in advance for some beauty salons and you need none for others, as their personnel seems to always be waiting for customers that never come?
It’s easy; people are not buying products and services only. They buy experiences which include those products and services. Everything else going on while they are researching, testing and buying is of ultimate importance, just as how they are treated after getting the product or service and they come back to either buy more or require assistance.
It’s all part of a complex process. The experience is what matters and what makes you stand out. You need to build it, then promote it, then live up to what expectations you’ve created every time. A few quick examples! There’s no software product that’s flawless. If you start using it intensively, you will run across some bugs or some missing feature. That’s not a problem, we’ve all learned to expect it. But if the tech support fails to fix the problem once you’ve asked them to, or fail to properly explain things to you, you will change products.
Think of a spa. You pay for great products, relaxation, but could you relax if let’s say someone giving you a massage would be rude to you? Or at a hair dresser’s, if you look great in the end but the person has been pulling your hair all the time, bringing tears of pain in your eyes, will you ever come back?
It all seems easy to grasp, everyone is preaching it, but most companies seem to be overlooking this important aspect. Even if they offer these complete experiences to their customers, they fail to properly promote them. They get caught up in features and innovation and high tech and they forget to translate the benefits to their customers. They fail to explain how the entire process works and how they will be assisted every step of the way. And I have to wonder why. If the information is out there, if when we go buy something we evaluate the entire experience, why do we fail to translate everything we know in our own businesses?