Stop focusing on Client satisfaction.
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
This is a re-post of an article I wrote on LinkedIn in August 2019.
The Munro Cookie Sandal.
My fitness tracker indicated I put 8.3 miles on a pair of these sweet kicks in Barcelona in one day, without sore feet or a single blister. I love these shoes and I mean LOVE. Recently, the Munro shoe company not only gained some revenue on a discontinued product, they also gained my loyalty.
I am constantly on the lookout in stores like #Nordstrom Rack for "Cookie" as she is no longer in production but I found a pair on the Munro site, in clearance, in my size, for $44. #JACKPOT Of course I ordered them but received a notice in the checkout cart online that if I purchased, I could not return them. Their policy was very clear: ALL Shoes priced under $60 are not returnable. Then, I received an email with the same notification immediately at purchase and 20 minutes later, a phone call from Michelle at Munro asking if I was aware if she charges my card and ships the shoes, I cannot return them. Overkill? Maybe but Munro was more interested in making sure I understood that I could theoretically be out $44 than selling me a pair of clearance shoes.
Sure, I wanted the shoes, I was ecstatic about the nearly 80% discount, but there was more. I was feeling the key difference between loyalty and satisfaction.
On the other hand, the home security company (Frontpoint) we had in Durham provided an entirely different experience when we moved in July 2019. Until then, we were very satisfied customers. We could get through to tech support when we first fired up the system, it was reliable, and we loved the iOS app because we could control just about everything right from our phones. When it was time to cancel, we found that we couldn't initiate or complete the request online. Karl called on July 13th, was in the hold queue for 38 minutes (!) and when an associate finally answered, it was seven (7) more minutes of him trying to talk us out of cancelling. "We're moving", "will be living in a corporate apartment", "don't need it" fell on deaf ears as the Frontpoint rep persisted. Adding salt to the wound, we were then stuck with a $279 'early cancellation fee' in addition to the August monthly fee because they "couldn't move that fast to disconnect the service". Really? It was July 13th with a little over two weeks until the calendar flipped to August. Look, I get it, contracts are contracts even when life happens, but they devalued our transactional relationship because their goal was clearly to get as much money out of us as they could. Because of that single transaction with FrontPoint, they lost our business and our loyalty. Forever.
Transparency and integrity go a long way, particularly when it comes to financial transactions. In setting the right expectation and by valuing my comparatively small $44 transaction, Munro gained my loyalty. They will have my business again and next time, I'll probably pay full price, just as I did for the first pair I ever bought because I love their product and the service. On the other hand, Frontpoint gained $329 one day but lost over $800 of ongoing ARR once we found our new home.
The ROI of treating customers well is pretty simple. When authentic, "exceeds-expectations" service and/or product is consistently delivered and transactions turn into feel-good experiences, Clients will come back and spend their money. When it doesn't happen, everybody loses.
Satisfaction is simple and transaction focused: at that time, on that day, when I wanted it most, the Munro shoes were very comfortable and blister-free.
Loyalty however is based on the emotional response that Munro valued my $44 transaction the same as my $400 transaction while providing me an excellent product each time.
I'd love to hear your stories about feeling like a valued Client or even when you didn't.
Drop me a line below and soon, let's talk about loyal Clients who are dissatisfied.
For 'kicks', here is a pic of my beloved kicks: