Customers Insist on Transformation, Do You Deliver?

By Chris Ihrig

I hate to admit it, but I have been known to duck into a fast food restaurant drive-thru line from time to time. Of course, there is that moment as I sit in line, figuratively and literally stuck between two cars, where I am forced to reconsider my decision for fast food with no option to exit the line. I call this the “wait of shame” where I make deals with myself that fast food jaunts need to be measured and rare, not a solution to every day “nutrition”.

As I pull up to the menu and speaker denoting the place where I am to yell my order, there is yet another moment of reconsideration as I decide on my food choice of the day. I usually just pick a “value meal” number and most of the time I don’t even know what I’ve ordered. The pleasant yet equally frustrated drive-thru attendant repeats my order, states my total and asks me to “please pull forward to the first window”.

When we work with clients looking to improve customer value, we often start with the above drive-thru window analogy and ask one simple question: how many windows do you have when you engage with your customers?

Amazingly, most companies we work with have a minimum of two distinct windows used to engage with customers. Interestingly, the drive-thru window actually best depicts the typical online transaction, which includes a minimum of three windows:

  • Product or Service Review Window (the speaker and menu location)
  • Payment Window
  • Product Delivery Window

Ultimately the customer goes through about three hoops in order to select, pay and receive a product or service.

In their book “Raving Fans”, Blanchard and Bowles (1993) wrote “Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better. Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create Raving Fans.”

Today we live in an ever-evolving, ever-progressing moving pendulum of customer value, customer perception, and customer expectations. It is no longer okay to lean on low expectations as the reason to tolerate mediocre service.

These days, customers want – if not insist – upon transformation as part and parcel to their purchase experience. It is simply no longer okay to just perform transactions for customers. Instead, they want to be moved. They seek to live out their faith through their consumption choices.

Have you heard of “prosumerism”? The concept here is that we are no longer okay with just being a consumer. Instead, we seek meaning in our consumption and the more meaning we can attach to a product the more we like and talk about said product. The reverse is also the case as impressed by the rather emphatic following of the websites like Yelp, Travel Advisor as well as most all social media outlets.

According to Edmonton Journal, prosumers “are smart shoppers and proud of it. But even more importantly, prosumers enjoy talking about the products they love or hate, whether it’s the sluggish service at a restaurant, a cheap but good label of wine or the dog food that makes Fluffy’s coat shine.”

At Fired-Up! Culture we work with our clients to change their customer paradigm, to literally reset their buyer’s criteria for “good customer experience and value” and then deliver that experience from a transformational standpoint. These strategies start and end with the following: Corporate Culture!

To find out more about our customer value orientation model or learn more about how Fired-Up can help your organization create raving (and transformed) fans, please connect with us.