Do you sell products or experiences?


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In my 15 years of working in the Customer Experience space, I’ve found that mindset is the single most important factor in getting people from within the organization to think of the customer rather than the product or service. Allow me to use a recent article by Joshua Gowin, a doctoral student in behavioral neuroscience at the University of Texas Health Science Center, to explain.

In his recent Psychology Today article, “The Secret to Exercising More and Feeling Great,” Gowin offers some unconventional workout tips. Rather than focus on the ideal number of weight lifting repetitions, varieties of cardio-intensive exercises or facts about nutrition, he recommends focusing on something that seems completely unrelated to exercise: the human mind. A simple shift of perception is often the key to dramatically improved outcomes.

Gowin cites an example from a land-breaking study on persuasion. The study examined the relationship between motivational factors and household energy conservation. The participants were divided into three groups. The first group was given a water-saving showerhead. The second group was given a brochure on how to save electricity. The third group received both the water-saving showerhead and the brochure on how to save electricity.

Which group ultimately adopted energy conserving habits? The third group, which received both the shower head and the brochure. The reason the third group changed their behavior is because of a fundamental shift in perception; they started to see themselves as conservationists. Installing the new showerhead was the action that initiated the shift and reading the brochure completed the desire to become a conservationist.

The same is true in the change that is needed in the Customer Experience. There is the action (the shower head), the reason (the leaflet), and the explanation of why focusing on the customer is the right thing to do. This explains why we provide our clients the action – the redesigned experience – as well as spending time educating them on why and how to change their Customer Experience.

Reaching a financial target feels great, but earning the loyalty of the customers behind that achievement feels even better. Attuning your leadership’s mindset so that it regularly takes thoughtful and deliberate action to put the customer experience at the forefront of how you run your business is the essential step in this process. So how do you know if your company is offering products or experiences?

The way to take this step is by interacting with your customers. Invigorate your leadership’s mindset by becoming a customer. Call your company’s main number, call your customer service number, and order one of your products or services. How easy was it? What didn’t go well? How did other employees interact with you when they thought you were a customer? What were you expecting? What do you think your customers would expect? These kinds of exercises can help you to determine whether you need to take the next step in delivering a consistent and deliberate customer experience.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colin Shaw
Colin is an original pioneer of Customer Experience. LinkedIn has recognized Colin as one of the ‘World's Top 150 Business Influencers’ Colin is an official LinkedIn "Top Voice", with over 280,000 followers & 80,000 subscribed to his newsletter 'Why Customers Buy'. Colin's consulting company Beyond Philosophy, was recognized by the Financial Times as ‘one of the leading consultancies’. Colin is the co-host of the highly successful Intuitive Customer podcast, which is rated in the top 2% of podcasts.


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