Is it time for your business to reinvent your customers’ experience? 

by Lynda Kavanagh

So what exactly do customers want?

Well, the marketing exchange is when people give you money for a product and they expect it to satisfy their need for why they bought the product. Let’s face it, if a business can’t at least meet this simple expectation, then that business is in trouble.

Ideally, you’d like to exceed customers’ expectations so they walk away impressed.  That’s the customer-service component of running a business — taking it past the basic exchange process where customers give you money and you give them a product to where they feel they get “more than their money’s worth.”  That practice is called reinventing the customer experience.

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know I’m a statistics gal. Here are a few customer-service statistics you may find interesting:

  • 40% of customers began purchasing from a competitor because of its reputation for great customer service
  • 53% of customers have switched businesses because they did not feel appreciated
  • 29% of customers switched to another business because they were annoyed by untrained staff
  • 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience
  • 45% of women avoid a vendor for well over two years after a bad customer experience
  • 34% of those aged 25 to 34 get revenge for bad service by posting a bad review online or through a social media channel


If you want to exceed your customers’ expectations, you need to give them a “WOW” factor. That means adjusting your business so it exceeds basic exchange expectations and produces a positive, unexpected impact with customers. That unexpected factor is what sets you apart from your competitors.

So what is that unexpected expectation your customer will be pleasantly surprised with? I don’t know, and I bet you don’t know either — unless you’ve asked them that question.

You need to ask your current and potential customers what would set you apart from your competitors.  Ask them what you need to do that will have them saying “WOW” after they have bought your product or service.

Some businesses feel they don’t need to ask their customers about what will get them to say “WOW” after a purchase. They believe they know that their customers are driven by price, the quality of the product, the speed in which the product is delivered, or perhaps how close the store is to the customer. But you know those are obvious benefits. And obvious benefits are probably also being provided by your competition.  

To set your business apart from your competition, you need to discover the non-obivous elements that are important to your customers.

What will get those customers to really say “WOW” and get them on the road to becoming customers for life? After all, a single customer for life (on average) will tell seven to 10 others about the WOW factor that your business delivers.

So, ask and you get, don’t and you won’t.  

1. Ask your customers what they need.  

2. Ask them what you can do for them that no other business is doing.  

3. Ask them why they keep buying from you.

The answers to those three questions will not only help you create customers for life, but they should also become the basis for all your marketing messages.

Lynda Kavanagh has owned and operated WOW Communications & Training since 1994. Her company provides business coaching and training focusing on sales and marketing issues.

She will be a keynote speaker at the Spring 2016 Alberta Gift Fair.