Reflect upon short- and long-term effects of customer experiences. Can we make people (un)happy?

Hello everyone,

This week has been busy for me so therefore I will upload my blog post today, Saturday. It is nice that the week has 7 days sometimes!

I think this week’s question is tricky. I believe that we can make people happy and unhappy depending on the customer experience, but I do not know how much impact it will have on the business. It depends on the customer and on the context as for everything else.

I think it is easier for me to talk from an own experience. For example with guaranty on products. It is great to have during the time (short term = happiness) but when the guaranty has passed with one day and you still have a totally well-functioning product (long term = from happiness to disappointment), the company will do nothing to help you. Example with my former bike. I bought it and was very happy with the bike, the service and the overall experience of the product and the company that sold the bike to me. However, one week after the guaranty of the 1-year-contract was passed (my bike was very well functioning, better than a lot other bikes of 1 or 2 month) they would not do anything to help me…. I got really upset and disappointed, in other words the happiness that I have felt while buying the bike (short term) changed to a bad feeling (long term) and is therefore the feeling that I will remember. As long as you are a paying customer a company will do anything to help you, but the same day as your payments stop coming you are not important anymore (for some companies).

I believe that companies that use this to their benefit are winners, if you are truly interested and willing to help even though the customer is not your customer, it is always a potential customer. And the customer will always remember the long-term feeling and experience more than the short-term. Because the short-term can be caused by so many other things, like the feeling of getting a new product or the happiness about doing the shopping and not directly related to the product and the specific company.

Maybe this post was very blurry, but please put your comments with your points of view of this subject. I really want to understand how other’s think about this since I do not have a straight view myself.

 

/Sanna

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4 reaktioner till “Reflect upon short- and long-term effects of customer experiences. Can we make people (un)happy?

  1. I believe that we can make customers happy, and I also believe that happy customers will always come back. I believe that the first impression always stays, although it can easily fade, not with time but with a bad experience, in opinion, cause as mentioned in the last webinar as well, we always tend to remember the negative feelings and forget about the good ones even if they were more than the bad ones. Now, as for your example of the guarantee service my feelings are mixed, form one side I kinda agree with you on the fact that after it expires there is no ”free” help, cause they will surely help but we will have to pay and in some magic way the product is always perfect while we still have the guarantee and after it expires all the issues appear and you don’t have a guarantee anymore when you really need it, which is very unpleasant and disappointing, but on the other hand we don’t buy the guarantee but the product and the guarantee comes along with it and it can last forever, it is just a safety net for the customer and the company if the product is faulty.

    Gilla

  2. I agree with you, in my opinion ”once a customer, always a customer”, indifferently whether the warranty has expired or not. And even if they cannot help you, they should at least be helpful and do everything in their power to make you feel heard..

    Gilla

  3. Hi Sanna! I believe that there is no ”happiness pill” and no product or service can make you totally (un)happy. The main idea of this topic was that your personal subjective value of a material product will disappear over time, while the value of your experiences increases over the same period of time. For example, imagine that you have bought a new smartphone. The first week you are very careful while using it and feel the ”value” in your pocket. But a few months later its subjective value for you disappears, and smartphone becomes ”commodity”.
    At the same time, the opposite things happen with your experiences. When you have just returned from a trip to another country you might feel tired but happy. You may still remember something that darkened your trip: bad service at a local restaurant, some kind of fraud etc. But a few months later your personal subjective value of that trip will increase and it will be more and more valuable over time.
    The same idea works and for experiental product. If you think of it as a material product its value for you will disappear over time. But if you think of a product as your way to any kind of experience, its value will increase or at least will disappear much slower.
    Your bike may make you happy every day even one year after you bought it (until it has broken). Hardly this might be the case with your smartphone.

    Gilla

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