Module 4 – Customer interactions

Hello team! It has past a lot of time since my previous post. During that time I’ve changed a work and a country of residence and hope all these excuse me in a some way for the such a late catching up ūüôā
I’ve higly enjoyed our 4th Module – Consumer interactions. I always feeled that interactions between customer and service provider are among the most important points of product value creation but never took into account that they can be studied and explained in small details.
Several years ago together with my business partner we went to the Mediterranean cousine reastaurant. We sat at the table and spoked to aech other actively. Several minutes later the waiter came to us and asked what would we like to eat. Our answer was that we need some more time to decide. 10 minutes later without any questions or orders from us the waiter brought us starters and asked would we like to drink a wine (yes). 10 more minutes later he came to us and asked shortly: “meat or fish?”. We made our decisions. The same was with desserts and drinks. So during all the time we have been in this restaurant none of us didn’t open the menu. Everything was done by the waiter. It was very surprising, interesting and enjoyable experience for both of us. And we both concluded that the meal was great.
Two weeks later I had a meeting with another business partner and decided to repeat great experience with that restaurant and the waiter. Unfortunately for me, that man was not at work and our new waiter didn’t do the same as his colleague did earlier. And guess what? Our meal and overall experience was not that good as two weeks ago. Of course I understand that the cousine was the same and everything else was the same at that restaurant, except one detail: the waiter. This particular man created the value for us.
I’m sure that customer interactions play important role in value creration, sometimes even the most important role. And this is the reason why I was very interested in Per Echeverri’s reseach. I liked the idea of dividing consumer interactions on 5 practices: informing, greeting, delivering, charging, helping. Each of them is made up of specific elements of practices: procedures, understandings, engagements.
The relationship between interaction value practices, elements of practices, and dimensions of interaction value practices is associated with four types of praxis: reinforcing value co-creation, recovery co-formation, reductive co-formation, and reinforcing value co-destruction.
This concept allowed me to look from the new point on how my team and I work with clients. We have already changed some our interactions procedures and preparing some more changes. As I told before, in banking business the products are almost the same among all banks and that is why value co-creation during customer interactions is the one of few points where we can do a lot to differ from each other.
So thanks a lot Mr. Echeverri and all CTF team for the valuable pieces of research you have shared with us.

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Final thoughts on Module 3 “Persuasion”

first of all, I want to mention, that Module 3 “Persuasion” was extremely interesting and useful. Moreover, it was¬†too coherent to learn in right after the second Module “Satisfaction”. If during last month we spoke a lot about client satisfaction, this module is seems to be more on vendor satisfaction. Persuasion is definitely a tool for sellers to increase a sales volume on the product/service they offer. And product/service providers should use it responsibly but often fail to do so.
On the third week of the Module I enjoyed of a wide range of advertisements which you, my classmates, published in your blogs. As soon as we speak different languages it was interesting to watch ads where sometimes you cannot understand words, and the only way to get it’s idea was to see the picture or a clip. And I have to say, that in all cases it was more than enough ūüôā Ads makers all over the world use the same scenarios, mostly provoking liking and social proof within viewers. Some of them even go further and try to associate the product with some event, activity or feeling: meeting with friends? – Don’t forget to grab some Coke! Want to drive safely for you and pedestrians? –¬†buy Volvo! Affordable and modern furniture? – IKEA!

How persuasion could improve my business? Well, as soon as I work in a bank it is¬†inconvenient question. Sometimes products which are profitable for banks are not best solutions for clients: long-term loans, martgage, saving accounts. But banks still promote them actively mostly through social proof principle. Thankfully, my bank is not one of them. As for me, I often use authority principle, when dressed in strict business suit (uniform for bankers)¬†I give my client some pieces of advise. But I really do my best to give advices that fit well for clients, rather than profitable for the bank in the¬†short run. And the reason here¬†is that I want to build long-term relationships with my clients to make money on/with them for many years. Isn’t it a win-win situation? ūüôā

 

 

 

One more principle to 6 Cialdini’s!

During this week we enjoyed reading and learning from the famous Cialdini’s book “Influence”. Let’s recall it’s 6 main persuasion principles:

  1. Reciprocation – people feel obligated to the future repayment of favors, gifts, invitations, and the like;
  2. Commitment and consistency – people are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing or recent commitment;
  3. Social proof Рpeople are willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it;
  4. Liking¬†– people prefer to say “yes” to those that they like.
  5. Authority Рpeople are more willing to follow the directions or recommendations of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant authority or expertise;
  6. Scarcity – people find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.

The book if full of examples on each of the rules, and moreover, I’m sure that all of us can easily recall more examples on each of¬†principle of persuasion from our private and professional life experience. But this particular book, at least for me, gave something more than just rules mentioned above: it gave me the feeling of smarter and more¬†sophisticated the newest myself. Of course, no seller or counterparty will ever foolish me with their offers or will make me buy more of their stuff! The newest myself watches all TV ads through the lenses of Cialdini’s rules and can obviously see what is behind all these beautiful pictures. And of course I understand how misleading this feeling, but nevertheless it is enjoyabe¬† :).

Do these 6 rules cover all the principles of persuasion? I think they don’t. They cover majority of persuasion cases, but definitely not all of them. At least one is missed. And the name of this principle is Laziness.¬†Let me show you how it works.

This is a webpage of Amazon and it’s options on buying a book:

amazon page

You may pay for a Kindle version, for it’s paper version, or listen to it free of charge if you sign up for their Audible service. The registration is very simple: just write your name, email address and credit card details. I’m sure you know what will happen then: you listen to the desired book and forget or postpone to cancel your subscription even if you decided that you don’t like that experience. One month later your card is being charged by Amazon for a new month of subscriprion. And then may be one more and one more, depending on what sum of money you were charged and how noisy are these charges for you. As result, instead of buying the book for $16.29 you may pay much more for it. In my personal experience one Italian webhoster charged me 3 times (!) for annual subscription for the web domain, which I don’t use anymore. And honestly, I don’t remember have I canceled my suscription yet or not.

 

 

 

Are influencing strategies the new weapon of mass destruction?

Several years ago I worked for one financial company, there Cialdini’s book “Influence” was the desk-book for every person in the sales department. It was carefully read by almost every salesmen, it’s ideas were used in practice, and then, on a weekly basis salesman met up and discussed the most powerful book’s features. Sales skyrocketed as well as sales-credits. This continued more than two years before major world stock exchange indexes unexpectedly felt down.¬† What happened next? Some clients lost a lot of money, more than¬†they expected, and were deeply unsatisfied because investment portfolios they had were much riskier than they should be. Then some salesmen lost more than a half of clients with whom they worked a very long time. This is an example of how much unhappiness may bring the wrong interpretation and usage of influencing strategies.

Frankly speaking, dishonest influencing is still very popular among grocery stores, car manufacturers, insurance companies etc. They want us to buy more their products even if latter are fully or partially unsuitable for us. On the other hand, there are a lot of examples when governments and companies make us behave better, save more money, eat healthier, drink less alcohol etc. Influencing strategies are the weapon in our hands. And it depends a lot on us how honestly or dishonestly we use it. I expect from Module 3 to go through the main principles of persuasion and to get some ideas and examples of their responsible usage, that makes happy both the seller and the customer in the long term.

Expectations vs satisfaction

The first topic about customer expectations and satisfaction seemed very intuitive for me. Before watching talk of Tore Pedersen (https://youtu.be/q6iEtWMabMQ) on Expectations and the disconfirmation model I was sure that:

High customer expectations: if met = client satisfied; if not = client unsatisfied. Imagine you decided to go to an expensive restaurant in the city you have never been before. A high price increases your expectations from experience you are going to have. But what if the main course quality was mediocre? Would you feel satisfied because¬†of your high expectations? Would you feel that you got the right value for money? Will you come again to this restaurant? My answer is no. On the other hand, if I, for example, don’t have any high expectations on cuisine in the “next corner” restaurant but surprisingly receive above average service, it will definitely make me satisfied and loyal customer. Same true in case of buying a new car or a smartphone.

Tore Pedersen said that relationship “expectations – (dis)satisfaction” works differently:¬† high expectations = higher satisfaction even if expectations weren’t met. Unfortunately, he did not provide any examples of this statement. I don’t mean that Tore was wrong. But it seems that I definitely need some kind assistance or examples of this kind¬†of relationships between expectations and satisfaction. Any thoughts or suggestions on that?

Thoughts on expectations of Module 2

Hello all!

I’ve just repaired my suddenly broken Mac and now catching up.

 

I think this course started if not with the most important, then, at least, with one of the most important topics – the psychological aspects of customer¬†experience. Our attitude towards the world around us is largely shaped by how we feel it and how we feel ourselves within it. Unlike, for example, robots or so-called “econs”¬†in behavioral finances – theoretically existing people, making an exceptionally rational choices on the basis of an objective analysis done beforehand.
Therefore, the way we often value products or services depends not only on their objective qualitatives, but also on how we felt during the service being provided and after it.
From this module I expect to get some insights on how to measure customer experience and level of satisfaction at different stages of the service delivery. What are the main points of customer – service/product provider iteractions we have to take into account and work on heavily to manage clients expectations propertly and make them satisfied?

 

Warm greetings from cold Russia

Hello team! My name is Vadim, I live in Moscow, Russia. I’m 34 y.o. and almost all my career I’ve been working in product development area at financial market companies such as banks, asset management companies, investment banks. Currently, I’m in charge of private banking business at one of the Russian banks.

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After dozens of meetings with clients and sales-speeches, I’ve come to conclusion, that on average we (humans) are bad at distinguishing a bad product or service from a¬†good one. And we often confuse a¬†good product with a good customer experience. And vice versa.

Keeping in mind the fact, that at financial market and some other markets, companies offer approximately identical services, customer experience becomes one of the most important points of competition.

I signed up for this course because I want to understand customer experience deeper and to improve it in our business. Hope this will make our clients wealthier, happier, and more satisfied with a service we provide.

I’m glad to get acquainted with all you guys and sure we’ll enjoy our journey to customer experience basics. ūüôā

Cheers,

Vadim