Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good experiences that make me feel uneasy

The perception of adding value to new products ...

"In commoditised markets, businesses need to compete on an experiential and emotional level. Hence, creating better customer experiences will nearly always provide business growth. To create these better customer experiences, a business can use a process of innovation, or a process of distortion.

I define innovation as creating something new which adds value both to the customer, and to the business.

I define distortion as creating something new which adds value to the business, but does not add actual value to the customer. Rather, it creates a perception of increased value to the customer.

Here are 4 examples of distortion:

1. Some washing machines add a greying dye to the water during washing cycles, making the water appear ‘dirtier’ than it actually is. This could lead to a better customer experience: “Wow, look at all the dirt coming out of my clothes!”

2. Most vacuum cleaners only remove the top 50% of the dirt in your carpet. However, they turn over the carpet fibres, making the carpet look cleaner than it is; which in turn leads to a good customer experience.

3. With goods ‘on sale’, many retailers display tags on the discounted items showing the RRP (recommended retail price) and the ‘sale price’. There is a big difference between the figures, and the customer experience is a good one: “I’m getting a great deal!” However, the deal is distorted, as these items are often for sale at other retail outlets for much lower prices than the RRP displayed on the ‘sale’ tags.

4. Many washing powders contain fluorescent brightening agents to make the washed clothes appear brighter than they actually are. Whether they are actually brighter or not is inconsequential to the customer experience. What matters is whether the customer has a good experience by perceiving to have clean, bright clothes."    (Continued via Good Experience)    [Usability Resources]

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