The customer experience doesn’t begin when someone shops at your store, eats at your restaurant, or becomes your client. That may be the point at which that person decides to lay the money down, but the customer experience begins well before that point.
We all make choices every day about where and how we will spend our money. We decide based on a number of factors, such as price, location, value, availability, need, timing, and more. Long before we ever open our wallets, we have gathered information and formed opinions about what we think we should—or want to—do. We weigh the purchase decision against our priorities and values and choose accordingly.
Sometimes this process is very quick and easy. If you feel like chewing gum, you go and buy a package of gum. Gum is widely available, is inexpensive, and comes in lots of flavors. There aren’t really any consequences to making a “bad purchase decision” in this case, either. If you don’t like the flavor of the gum you bought, so what? You’re out, at most, two dollars and can simply try a different brand or flavor next time. You can make a purchase decision about something like gum pretty quickly, because there’s not much risk; you don’t have a whole lot on the line.
But suppose you are planning to move into a new home? That’s a purchase on an entirely different scale, and not just from the monetary aspect. You might consider things like the commute ...