The Crap Experience

I’m going to let you in on a little secret today. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about how we can attract new customers and retain all of our existing ones. That’s as it should be. There is, however, one thing you might not be thinking about. That’s the little secret.

The consumer experience today has been dumbed down. I don’t mean that in the intellectual sense. I mean crap experiences have become the norm. As a result, consumer expectations are pretty low. Let me explain.

Think about traveling via airplane. 30 years ago you walked through the airport. There was a cursory security check but you could carry your coffee through and your shoes stayed on your feet. You had a reserved seat with decent leg room, even in coach. You could stow your bag, you got a hot meal, and the price of these things was part of the fare you paid. Does any of that sound vaguely familiar today?  Nope.  We expect a horror show at security and the fare we pay bears little resemblance to what we’ll spend to make that trip.  In short, air travel sucks and we expect it to.  If the flight lands roughly on time we call it a good flight.  The crap experience is the norm.

Another example?  Maybe you spent $50 on a new video game.  You get an hour in and it crashes or the characters don’t render or you can’t move them because a “wall” has mysteriously appeared on all sides.  Think I’m making this up?  Ask anyone who bought the latest Assassin’s Creed game.  We just wait for the patch.

You can find crap experiences all over.  Hotels, restaurants, online retailers – heck, it’s hard to find one business segment that’s not riddled with them. So while our goal should always be to reach the highest standards possible, the key to success these days may lie in just three words:

Just. Don’t. Suck.

That’s a little step forward that will immediately put you above the norm.  Not sucking means you are running down the road from the crap experiences consumers have been forced to accept. Can you do that?

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks

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