Is your marketing just a thin facade to a nasty reality? Customer expectations and perceptions of your company and its products are influenced all along the continuum from pre-sales marketing to purchase to actual product experience.
Customers can be disillusioned anywhere along the way. If you lose them before the sale, you may never know. However, if you lose them after the sale because they weren’t satisfied with your product, you should be able to measure that via repeat purchases and return customers.
Customer satisfaction often hinges on the product matching their expectations. Consistency is the key. If the story you told up-front doesn’t match the actual product, customers will be upset. Does your product match the marketing?
First Impressions Aren’t Enough
However, the first impression of your product isn’t the only thing that matters. If the first use of your product is great but the rest isn’t, customers can still be dissatisfied.
You need to make sure your product or service is good to the end. What is the end? Well, that depends on your product.
Are you good to the end?
Let’s look at an analogy. This is a tale of two desserts. The first is a shake from Sonic Drive-in. The second is that of a similar ice cream Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
The last ice cream shake I got from Sonic was great when I started eating it. It more or less matched the pretty picture on the menu and I was happy. However, as I got to the bottom, all that was left was plain vanilla ice cream. The shake hadn’t been mixed thoroughly and at the end I was no longer eating a shake but rather plain boring ice cream. That Sonic shake didn’t end on a good note and my last impression is the one that remains: disappointment.
The last Dairy Queen Blizzard that I had, on the other hand, was consistently well mixed and was good to the last drop. There were no surprises at the end to spoil my satisfaction. The Blizzard matched the marketing message I heard up front. Not just on the surface, but completely and totally.
Is your product like the Sonic shake or the Blizzard I encountered? Your product needs to be great both on the surface and continue to deliver on its promises throughout the customer experience.
Providing a solid and positive encounter through the customer life cycle, from marketing to first impression to user experience, will generate not only revenue but also return customers.