Thursday, September 21, 2006

The value of customer experience

20060304_iphoto_lorenzattractor_2Sometimes it is interesting to watch small things happening at a very local scale because they can be food for thought for larger operations. How about a business loosing about 30% of its potential revenue simply because it fails to create the right customer experience?

Right across the street from where I live there is a small shop selling fruits and vegetables. The people who run that shop do not seem very capable of welcoming their customers and serving them optimally. For example, these guys don't really like being paid with lunch vouchers (in Belgium we can pay for food and drinks with lunch vouchers called "tickets repas") for some reason I cannot fathom since a few meters up the street there is a butcher who gladly accepts this form of payment. On top of that they seem to have some form of paralysis of zygomatics and to suffer from Alzheimer in the brain centers that manage good manners. Anyway, when the people running the fruits & vegetables shop serve
me as a customer I don't feel welcome. When I pay them with lunch
vouchers, they don't like my payment... So I don't really enjoy going

Today, due to time constraints there was no other choice, and I actually forgot a couple of things but since they are not essential I will just wait until I can visit go to another shop. Now, I paid something like 11 € and if I felt motivated enough to go back to that shop I would pay another 5€ or 6€...  Wrong customer experience means a loss of 31% of revenue in this case. It seems like a pricey negligence, don't you think? Especially since I know that when my experience is good in a shop I always have a preference for spending my money there and for spending a bit more than strictly necessary there... So in fact the loss of potential revenue (including implusive buys) is actually higher and may even exceed 40%.

Of course I know that one instance is not statistically significant blah blah blah... still in this case knowing that it is a fairly permanent situation it simply occurred to me to try to quantify the loss for that business. I thought that this might actually be happening in a number of other businesses which do not care for customer experience. And that might actually be good food for thought, at least for today...


  1. This happens everywhere: some people should not be in the business of commerce. They so openly demonstrate that they do not need customers for a living that you wonder why they bother holding a shop at all...

  2. Yes it does happen everywhere and on every scale of business. Perhaps another way to look at this is that it is a good opportunity to offer services aimed at turning business operations into commercially driven customer-focused operations. And as societies we might want to spend some energy into helping people earn a living without totally wasting their lives. I am completely convinced there is a superb talent in each person... alas sometimes too deeply burried inside.

  3. Same experience, with the bike shop owner next to my house. (I already baught 3 bikes + accessories for my family members and never had at least -10% offer. Amount spent there +- 1000 EUR in 2 years.
    On top of that, I use my bike everyday (even in winter) to bring my children at school and to go to work.
    Every bike needs some maintenance(as a car), and as usual, the guy says "it will be ready in 3 or 4 days". Last time, i asked for a replacement bike, the man said "10 EUR / day,".
    Well i would have appreciate to have it for free or a at least to have the maintenance done in one day with the greatest priority on the bikes which are only used by their owner from time to time. The guy knows that, i bike everyday as he sees me every morning but he does not care....his rule seems to be first bike in / first bike out
    Well, i just spent 800 EUR to buy a bike trailer for my kids in another shop...and the owner from the shop next to my house is angry about me now...he does not say "hello" anymore..
    A very good example of customer care !