Thursday, November 29, 2007

Process and Outcome

Yesterday, I went to a business to purchase some goods. I walked the floor, picked up what I needed, used the self check out lane, and was on my way. The outcome of this trip was a success, I purchased what I wanted. Earlier this afternoon I went to another local business to purchase some some of their wares. I entered the store, found my way to what I was in the market for, turned down a couple of additional suggested options, refused to give my name, declined to provide a phone number, and then paid for the goods. Again, outcome was a success--got what I wanted.

In both cases the outcome was the same. I wanted to purchase a few particular items, and that is what I did. However, the overall experience was much different. Unfortuneatly, today's experience was a more common representation of shopping experiences today. I understand the need for internal customer data collection. Phone numbers, addresses, buying habits, and email addy's make targeted marketing campaigns exponetialy more effective and because of this, nearly all businesses try to get as much information about their customers as possible.

Complicated check out procedures and/or over zealous sales associates often times confuse the difference between the "process" and the "outcome". Just because the customer gets what they want, doesn't mean they are happy and will come back. Sometimes if the process is right, but the outcome is wrong, you will still gain a customer.


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