Outcome after the Outcome

13903383668_c592e7438e_zThe outcome in grocery shopping is to get groceries desired as conveniently as possible, but that’s not the final memory the customer has of the experience. Ever gotten home and discovered two eggs were cracked? Or have a bloody cut of meat soil the birthday card you bought for Aunt Molly? Too often the grocery store is in the mix of negative thoughts associated with the “outcome after the outcome.”

Nordstrom is famous for pursuing the “outcome after the outcome” effect. “We try to guess what is beyond our customer’s purchase,” says John McClesky of the men’s suits department at their Dallas store. “If a customer buys a sports jacket, the obvious extension might be a tie. But if you learn the customer is buying the jacket for a cruise, you might explore an ascot or Panama hat.”

I was in the Nordstrom Charlotte store and purchased a sports jacket that required alteration. The seamstress agreed to make the minor adjustments and mail the jacket to me since I live in another state. When the jacket arrived, she had placed in the pocket a package of complimentary collar stays for my dress shirts! It made me reflect on the entire buying experience with a smile.

Play out in your mind the possibilities of what customers will be doing, thinking, and feeling after you have met the customers’ presented needs. What small gesture would make customers swoon? What service souvenir might extend their positive experience?

Photo credit: www.flazingo.com/creativecommons


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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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