Have you ever let your expectations get in the way of your experience?
I was in a Healthy Back store the other day to buy an exercise ball. When I got home, I discovered that the ball might have been opened before, and the plug & stem for blowing it up and sealing it were missing.
That’s when my expectations got in my way.
You see, the last time I was in a Healthy Back store was over 10 years ago when I bought a desk chair. The experience was terrible. The store management was horrible. They ordered the wrong chair, then promised free delivery and set up when the right one finally came in. They delivered it, but set it up wrong and walked out when I asked them to fix it. I then had to maneuver a big heavy desk chair into a 2-door car and haul it all the way back to the store for help. And the whole time they treated me like a stupid girl.
This happened in the age where the Web was pretty raw, when finding someone higher up to talk to was almost impossible, and when there was no Twitter to turn to for backup support. But this time I immediately called corporate—and then reached someone very rude who asked me why I was calling the corporate office since this was obviously a store issue. That brought flashbacks to that first experience.
So I called the store, where Stephen McCleary apologized and said he’d check into shipping out another exercise ball to me. And I took to Twitter to vent my overall frustration, and Aimee DeBrandt from the corporate office reached out immediately.
You see, I was wrong. This wasn’t the same store. These weren’t the same people. This customer experience wasn’t the same.
Businesses can’t resolve past grievances, but they can sometimes give you a new customer experience if you let them.
But sometimes the problem is us.
Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and reset our expectations.
Photo by Steve Snodgrass (Flickr).