Consider the following scenario:
You go to a new restaurant for the first time. You evaluate quality of food and quality of service. Your first visit was about experimenting with a new place and getting an experience.
A few weeks later, you go there again. You get a similar or a better experience this time. They have added a few new items to their menu. Service is better too. You loved their Italian Pizza. You now believe and trust that this restaurant is really good.
The third visit a few months later, you again get a similar or better experience. New recipes on the offer. The service staff is even more cordial. The ambience, decor has improved. You again ordered their specialized Italian Pizza. After this visit, you are now a “loyal” customer. Every time you want to eat that special Pizza, you visit the same restaurant.
Beyond this point, you start advocating this restaurant to your friends for specialized Italian Pizza. You recommend their food, service, ambience and overall quality. You become an evangelist.
Now think about your organization. How many customers are still experiencing you. How many of them really believe in you. How many customers are loyal? Do they advocate your services to others?
A common mistake organizations commit is to deliver great experience first time and then take the customer for granted. The moment there is someone else who is better and delivers a higher quality experience, a customer is lost!
So, quality is a moving target – each time a customer comes back to you, you need to deliver similar or better quality (of products, services and experience), you need to demonstrate improvement, care enough about them, stay on top of market trends and keep changing the rules of the game (innovation). When you consistently focus on delivering value, your customers move higher up in the value pyramid from “experience” to ‘belief & trust” to “loyalty” to “advocacy”.
Delivering great experiences through people, processes and leadership comes with a cost, but that cost is far less than the cost of losing a customer and then acquiring a new one all over again.
Note: My book ‘#QUALITYtweet – 140 bite-sized ideas to deliver quality in every project’ explores the people, process and leadership aspects to build a constantly improving organization culture. Check it out if you haven’t already!