Article by Paul - Your customers are going to take money out of your till

Your customers are going to take money out of your till

This is a thorny issue. But today, potentially, someone took some money out of your till.

I certainly did that to someone. But now, of course, I need to explain.

This is about relatively minor flaws in your customer experience management. Here are some examples.

A person received a two for one voucher at a restaurant. It said it was not valid on Bank Holidays, so on one of the many other days of the year off they went, full of anticipation, with their voucher. At the door, being a fully paid up cynic, they checked if the voucher was valid. The manager was summoned, and he said that he had the delegated authority to decide it was not valid on that day, and he was making that call. That person decided, on that basic to pop elsewhere then, and again, on another occasion. By doing so, about £75 failed to show up in the restaurant's till.

A lady wanted to buy a fairly pricey holiday lodge. She arranged a viewing. As she approached the lodge she recoiled, as their was a rather sizeable dead rat on the step. It had probably only been there for a day or two, but there it was. And the dead flies on the window ledge had certainly been there for a lot longer. She went to a rival, and therefore removed almost £90k from the till.

I expect you get the picture. I hope so. I have many of these anecdotes, and store them to use in customer experience management training. Don't make me use them all up here.

Each anecdote, on its own, is potentially a slight over reaction. There may be reasons why these things happened. But the reality is this. Fairly minor blemishes in the customer experience you give are more likely to result in a potential customer quietly spending their money with someone else.

I remember explaining this to an airline manager at a time I was travelling to London weekly. Every week I choose to use the train, I explained, is much the same as me showing up at your HQ on a Monday and taking £150 from the tills.

People do behave like this. And you cannot possibly anticipate every instance. But if you focus on this, you might anticipate some. You might double check the lodge before a viewing. You might tell your staff to always honour promotions. You might train your front line staff a bit to be brilliant that this kind of stuff. You might give the customer a bit of a benefit of the doubt rather than enforce your process absolutely.

I really do hope their are no rats on your doorstep, and that your till rings freely. And I hope that I have just set your thinking process off a little to ensure that both things are slightly more down to how you and your teams manage stuff, and slightly less down to luck.

Paul OrangeTree has been talking about customer experience management, and helping businesses to deliver it, for a long time. He still does this.

Paul OrangetreeBusiness Clarity Specialist

Paul Orangetree

Before becoming a director OrangeTree in 2008, Paul had a high flying corporate career leading to a position of director in a multi national, multi million pound company. He has since been involved in the commissioning of a number of very significant online projects, and managing the build and deployment of the resulting sites and systems. He believes passionately that at whatever budget you are operating, the best solution for you is the best solution for you!

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