Empower with knowledge to enhance the customer experience

I have just had a frustrating experience after purchasing a new television. The product was great, but my first moments of truth left me with negative emotions.

The lesson here is to make it easy, and to empower customers with knowledge, to improve the customer experience and customers for life.

Let me explain…

I have been going past the same electrical shop for over 12 months now.

In that shop there are rows of televisions, often with special prices, screaming out, “Take me home, and take me home!”

And, what is on offer is truly amazing. The televisions have become bigger, higher definition, 3D, Smart (you can access the internet on your TV), thinner…and the list goes on.

So, after 12 months of my wife and I saying to each other, “Our current TV does a perfectly good job”, we finally succumbed. We purchased a new Smart television.

I was looking forward to being able to watch content like YouTube on the “big screen” (well, 46 inches of screen anyway), rather than on my 14 inch laptop…

It was the day that the television was due to arrive. I was a little boy, waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney to leave a Christmas present for me!

And, yes, “Santa” arrived in the form of two delivery guys from the shop. They set the TV up.

And then they left.

The television looked great. The picture was really good. The sound was good.

I tried the “Smart” TV functions. But they did not work.

This is where my customer experience went downhill.

First of all, I’m not a technical type of person. So, I go to the instruction manual. I follow the instructions.

It does not work. No connection to the internet was detected.

I tried again.

It did not work again.

I could feel frustration setting in. I tried for quite a while, and then, somewhat vexed, I gave up.

That was a lucky week for me. We had a family gathering and one of those attending was Gen Y, computer expert. So I set him the task of getting my Smart TV set up.

These young people don’t need to read the manuals. He instinctively did what the manual told me to do.

It didn’t work.

He then started using all of the tricks in his very deep computer-savvy toolkit.

He tried one thing.

It didn’t work. Then he tried another thing. It didn’t work.

This young computer expert was totally baffled!

Despite, after 1.5 hours of trying, he said, “I will NOT give up”.

And, finally after 2 hours of trying different things, he let out a yelp, exclaiming, “Yes!”

He had finally done it.

He explained to me that he had used some sort of Google code (did I tell you that I’m not a technical person) to solve the problem.

So here is the message.

There is more to the customer experience than the technology/product experience.  I had a very poor emotional experience because I felt disempowered by the technology – I did not know how to get to first base – how to set it up.

The message is very simple. Your customers want maximum convenience and minimum hassle.

Put yourself in the skin of your customers. Understand their total experience. The more you empower them with knowledge, to let them use your product or service how they want to use it, the more positive will their emotional experience be.

So, the next time that we purchase a new television, will it be the same brand? I can honestly tell you that I am not sure.

Until next time.

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