What do I mean by continuity? Well, I want the experience I have with your business to feel joined up. If I start the journey in one ‘channel’ like the Internet, and then I visit your shop, I want that to all feel like it is part of the same experience. I want it to feel like I am dealing with the same organization.
To illustrate the point. At the time of writing this article, we are in the market for a new car. To be more precise, we might choose to keep the car we have had for several years. At the same time, we might buy a new car. Except for the fact, we are also about to buy a house. So money is a bit tight.
I don’t think I am any different to most people these days facing a big purchasing decision like this. First I will go online. I will look at the websites of different manufacturers to see what the current range of cars looks like. I may well have a shopping list of things I have (been told) to look for. My Wife plays an important role in the car-buying decision obviously.
Now, I don’t just rely on the car manufacturers’ websites do I? No. I’m going to have a look at Parkers or at Glass to see what a vehicle is worth. I will look at Broadspeed if I’m buying a new car to see what I could save by buying through their site. Then I might review a few forums to see what current owners of the cars think and feel. If you are like me, you can’t remember all the details in your head. So you create a spreadsheet on the computer to keep track of the various offers you find.
Next up, I might actually scan different dealers around the country. This helps me to see whether different parts of the country are offering better deals. Then I might look at a couple more review sites. In this case, What Car or Which.
What happens next? Well, then I arrange test drives. I visit the garage of the car manufacturer that I really like that is close to where I live. I test-drive the car(s) I have shortlisted. I work out whether the team that works for that distributor has time for me. Or do I have to wait around ages until someone has time to come and see if I am OK.
After the test-drives and all the desk research, it’s time to talk numbers. I, like most consumers like to find a bargain or drive for a bit of a bargain. I like to feel I have gotten good value for money. My intention is to make sure I get a good deal – but here’s the thing, I also want the person I am buying from to feel good. I don’t want them to feel like I am a pain in the ….
If I fall at the first hurdle though. If I see and advert for 0% finance for instance and when I visit the garage they deny all knowledge. If the Manager has to be summoned only to explain that “I must have misread the advert”, then we are in for a bad day.
You see, the whole point of this post is not to have a go at the car salesmen out there. Far from it. (We have met some really lovely people during this recent experience). No, this is about calling out how difficult it is for a company to deliver a joined up experience. How do you do?
Do you know someone who runs a company where the Marketing team has a great idea for a campaign but “they forgot to tell the rest of us”?
That happens a lot. You are not alone. I recommend, like in yesterday’s post, that you “walk in your customer’s footsteps”. It will show you what others see. It will help you understand what your actual customer experience is like. You may well find it surprising. It will certainly help you understand where you could improve.
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