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Should We Focus on Wowing Customers?

Should We Focus on Wowing Customers?

My recent experience of the Zoe health app has left me wondering what fast-growing businesses need to do to deliver a better customer experience.

I got off to a bad start with the app because their glucose monitor didn’t work and the app kept giving error messages. It took weeks for the error message issue to be fixed, during which time I sent several screenshots to different members of their team.

So when another fault locked me out of the app, when I still had a valid membership (that had been extended by a customer services rep who hoped I’d renew), I decided to cancel altogether. Not restoring my access after two days despite having authorisation to charge my credit card smacked of incompetence.

The Zoe employees I dealt with were always helpful and tried their best. From my perspective the problem seems to be due to an internal coordination problem which prevents faults from being diagnosed and fixed as quickly as they should. Or perhaps the company employs too many customer service reps and not enough engineers? Who knows?

Tim Spector’s involvement had sold me on the app, and I was even recommending it to friends and family before my membership started. So, I’ve been thinking about how a business can avoid losing its good customers.

While I'm not in a position to know what a business of Zoe's size and standing should do to better manage the customer experience, I do have ideas about what small businesses need to do to build the right customer experience for their brand.

The traditional perspective is that businesses should focus on delighting customers, and exceed their expectations. But that might not be the right approach.

The book Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty convincingly argues that most customers don't want to be "wowed"; they want an effortless experience. And they are far more likely to punish you for bad service than to reward you for good service.

This reflects my own experience. I believe that focusing on running our businesses really well early on and every step of the way is much more important to developing the right reputation and customer experience, than trying to ‘wow’ customers.

What are your thoughts on this? Would love to hear about your experiences, and if you have any book recommendations to share.