QVC and the Customer Experience: What Are They Doing Right?


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My household after work is probably not a lot different from yours. Assuming everyone is home for the evening meal, there is the requisite “what do you want for dinner?” question followed almost religiously by the “I don’t know…you pick” response, which invariably leads to an uninspired selection based on how quickly and easily it can be put on the table. After dinner and at times during dinner if I’m being completely honest, we sit down to watch a comedy because it’s something the three of us usually agree on and it sets a positive tone for the night.

Once the meal is over, however, all nighttime viewing bets are off. My husband, son, and I have a running debate about what we watch on TV. Their interests lean toward sports, sports commentary, sports news, shoot-em-up movies, anime, and The Three Stooges (I’ll never get that last one). Me, I’m happy with a prime time comedy, a few quick passes through the shopping channels, and any DIY or home improvement show that catches my attention.

Being that I am not symbiotically connected to the TV like other members of my household (who shall remain nameless), my viewing time is usually relegated to the late hours of the evening after everyone has gone to bed. This past weekend, as I was channel surfing, I ended up clicking back and forth between QVC, HSN, MSNBC, and the Jewelry Liquidation Channel. QVC is my favorite because their overall delivery is highly relatable, I like their product line, and the program can be quite entertaining. It’s a bonus that they also came out on top in ForeSee’s 2011 e-retailer holiday survey that was released a little over a month ago. QVC scored an 83, just above the threshold for excellence in the survey, indicating that they are clearly resonating with their customers.

How do they retain such strong viewership and why do customers keep coming back year after year for more than three decades? Not surprisingly, it turns out that QVC is doing a lot of things right when it comes to delivering on the customer experience. They include:

  • Identifying with their audience with hosts who are relatable and approachable.
  • Marketing products we need or want (or think we need or want).
  • Providing good value for the money and an easy return process.
  • Making products and services affordable in tough times (Easy Payments; holiday returns until the end of January; bundled package deals).
  • Being available when customers are available via TV, live studio feed on their website, pictures and embedded videos online.
  • Allowing us to share customer experiences via product feedback, ratings, community forums, and on-air testimonials.
  • Being relevant in all mediums. Although TV is their most popular shopping venue, they do a hefty online business and have adapted their marketing into all of the social channels and mobile shopping apps.
  • Listening to and thanking the customers by promoting Customer Picks, encouraging live customer comments, and responding to all kinds of on-air questions.

There are some very good lessons here and they are all fairly basic, but it takes a concerted effort to bring it all together so that a company is able to:

  • Listen to the customer
  • Relate to the customer
  • Respond to the customer
  • Deliver what the customer wants in terms of product reliability, durability, and value
  • Appreciate the customer

By reinventing itself as the market dictates and always keeping the needs of its vast target audience paramount, QVC resonates with its customers and that’s why they keep coming back. Oh, to be able to bottle and sell that winning formula…

That said, I do hope you’ll forgive me but I must run. There is a Today’s Special that I just have to check out…purely for research purposes, of course…really!


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