I shopped at Nordstrom this week. I went there to purchase a birthday gift for a friend. In my mind, my experience of shopping at Nordstrom over many years is pretty predictable. Pleasant. Refreshing. Easy. Quality product. Great service.
My visit on this occasion, however, was less than memorable. There was the salesperson who was more concerned that she got the credit for my purchase over another salesperson. There was the awkward verbal tussle between those salespeople behind the counter that left my wife and I glancing at each other in disbelief. Then to top it off, there was the double charge, the result of the salesperson requesting I swipe my card a second time because the receipt did not print. This error resulted in a 10-minute wait for someone to arrive from upstairs to correct the problem.
My wife and I left Nordstrom feeling disappointed. There was nothing inherently wrong with what we purchased; the experience just hadn’t lived up to our expectations.
In business, we succeed when the experience of using our services or products matches or exceeds our customer’s expectation of it. In spite of purchasing a quality product at Nordstrom, my experience did not meet my expectation.
When we truly understand what our customers expect and want, we can design better outcomes to facilitate that experience.
So when a customer says, “I shopped at (your company)” what experience do they describe?