The price of overselling expectations

Reading Nick Bowmast’s post, The price of cookies when booking your flight, got me thinking about the difficulties organisations face when they lead their customers to expect a “better than the rest” type of service.

Having set high standards we expect organisations to consistently meet these levels of customer experience in all our dealings, and we are more likely to talk about it when they don’t. I had a similar experience myself with Singapore Airlines (see Disjointed brand experience). Like Nick’s post, mine also received a prompt response from a representative of the airline.

What this highlights for me is the importance for organisations to take a holistic view of customer experience. It isn’t enough to just consider one channel or product, organisations must take a strategic view and consider the impact of every customer interaction with the organisation. Only then will they be delivering a great customer experience.

Air New Zealand’s eCommerce Manager’s response is understandable from a technology perspective (certainly from someone who has done as much work with booking engines as I have over the years), but not acceptable from a customer experience perspective.

If your advertising is “our low fares have nothing to hide”, the customer expectation is that “I will get this price”. If the marketing department is setting high expectation levels, the fulfillment teams must meet these or else customers will talk, and may soon become ex-customers!

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