Tickle Me!

The journey to your next sale begins. You know how to create awareness. You can capture the interest of your Ideal Customer. You make the sale, a smooth win-win, deliver an incredible product or service, and you set about repeating that process with another customer. High fives, all done, right?

It’s easy to forget that a customer experience is still happening long after you’ve cashed the check. Does that mean it isn’t Experience Design by then? No way!

In the comments on this Saturday’s Round Table post, Chas of Project Home 101 wrote:

It seems to me that creating a successful MCExperience requires, not only the process of providing a service or product that will be treasured and remembered by the customer, a “meaningful product” as an end result of the experiential process of a sale. Together, the process and the product will keep your doors open and the cash register singing for as long as you keep in mind that the entire journey the client takes—from product presentation to purchase to product use—is what will be remembered and valued by the customer.

Chas,

You’re absolutely right. You’re selling an Experience, and not simply a product/ service, because afterward it’s the total Experience that keeps the memory of purchasing from you alive.

(For better or for worse!)

What about the journey the customer takes alone? After the purchase?

Dear reader, you know I can get pretty excited about Experience Design. Here’s where my train of thought went next:

So after I bought my DeWalt drill a few years back, it wasn’t the hunk of plastic and metal I remembered. It was the first project I put together with it and how I sailed through it compared to my old piece of junk drill. That’s my memory, and I love DeWalt for giving me that Experience.

After I got my web hosting through GoDaddy it wasn’t their ugly website (okay I still do remember that) or their consistent… um, hosting… I’m no techie, so I don’t even know if what they provide could be done better. What I remembered was their quick, never condescending, incredibly responsive, we-won’t-let-you-go-til-you’re-HAPPY service. Not “satisfied,” not “problem solved,” but happy with my answer. That’s my memory, and I still recommend them whenever asked because of those excellent customer service encounters, adding so much to the dry Experience of choosing a web host.

Help me create beautiful memories

It isn’t just about service, though it’s easy to understand that a server at your local Italian place needs to stay friendly after he’s taken your order, and that GoDaddy needs to provide outstanding service even after I’ve bought my hosting if they want me to stay with them next year. Experience Design goes a lot further than customer service, and yes, I think DeWalt’s Experience is just as designed as GoDaddy’s.

Designing Maximum Customer Experience post-sale involves making sure your product or service exceeds my expectations. It had better work, and work well. It had better be easy to understand. It had better be dependable, durable, long-lasting. It had better help me create beautiful memories of using it. Even if you didn’t promise these things, I’ll remember you badly if your Whatchamacallit breaks. If I’m sweating to read your instructions, if I’m combing the web for outside help, if I’ve got buyer’s remorse at 3 am, you missed this.

Designing MCE post-sale means extras that provide delight. Get the door for the lady with the stroller on her way out. Heck, take her bag for her. Send her a thank-you note in a week, asking how the new Widget is working out. Send her a card on her birthday. (Or chocolate.) Selling a toy? Just about everybody knows it now—include batteries. Want to make my drill even better? Include drill bits. Maybe I won’t buy the add-on right away, but including a couple for the newbie who gets it home without even thinking about bits would go a long way toward increasing goodwill. (Not me! I had bits at home. But I did think about that as I went through the packaging.)

Designing MCE post-sale does definitely mean keeping a close eye on customer service. When I call my bank I get amazing, 24-hour, human-being service. As a business owner and a mom I do personal stuff at odd times so believe me I know—they are just as knowledgeable and as empowered to take action in the middle of the night on a weekend as they are during “business hours.” And a little extra—they always call back about a day later. A real human, not an automated survey-taker. Asks me how it went, knows what my call was about, wants to know not “should we fire Susie,” but “is there anything else we can do for you.” No matter how many times that’s happened, I’m always surprised. And tickled pink.

Tickled pink

Maybe that’s the answer. Can we make Experience Design post-sale as easy as this:

“Will our Ideal Customer be tickled pink, long after we’ve made the sale?”

Experience Design post-sale: The answer has got to be Yes. Yes. YES.

I know you can make that happen.

Got a story to tell? A product or a service or a favorite company that helped you create beautiful memories, long after there was a salesperson in sight? Tell us how to tickle you pink in the comments!

 

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson