This is a real story, which really shows how little things and conflicting interests influence customer journey.
On one sunny Saturday morning I was browsing thru door drops, marketing leaflets from home electronics stores, cataloguers, hypermarkets and such. For more than a year I had been following the price development of systems cameras by Nikon and Canon. While doing that I had also got interested in GPS navigation. On this sunny Saturday there was a sale for TomTom Navigator at the price of 75€. It was a limited offer, only 400 pieced nationally. Package included maps for Western Europe. When the clock was closer to 10am, the opening hour, I decided to drive to Gigantti and buy the GPS navigator.
I came to the store and looked for the right one. I asked from the seller and she showed me where the model was. She also said that there had been a mistake in the ad, the package only had Scandinavian maps in it. I asked how much more would it be with European maps? 105 €. The salesman showed GPS navigation models on the wall. ”Here’s TomTom”. Next to it I noticed Garmin model that had the same price as TomTom. I asked if there was any difference between Garmin and TomTom. The salesperson said Garmin had better battery life. That was it. I walked out from Gigantti with Garmin 245. The purchase customer journey was done.
Let’s consider this journey and it’s implications to different players.
Me, the customer:
I was very happy, although I paid 40% more than intended but 105€ wasn’t a problem eventually. I was highly price-oriented customer who was looking for ”good enough” solution and was not interested in more advanced solution or bigger screen. Because of the basic functionality needs I had I was also not interested enough to look in to product specifications online, product reviews or discussion forums. This product will get the job done anyway. At home, the product exceeded expectations. It had much more functionalities than I was expecting. They had minor meaning compared to the basic functionality, none of them was more important than the battery life, but it was a positive surprise.
Closed 40% more sales than I had intended to spend. The experience about the store was positive and the sales person’s advice was good, which means that the store will get more money from me later on. Was their error in the ad intentional? Probably not but they should still analyze how the error influenced their GPS navigator sales in general. What did customers come to buy and what did they actually walk out with?
Complete failure. The brand might have made a special deal for the campaign resulting change in price image. After reading that leaflet customers think, that you can get TomTom with European maps at the cost of 75€. It easily becomes the market standard. You are making a bad deal if you pay more for it. Price/value ratio sounds perfect but actually it wasn’t real because of the error in the ad. That’s ok if you go to Gigantti and they tell you about the error. If you don’t you just expect that TomTom’s are now cheap. It’s most likely that TomTom does some kind of post campaign analysis and comes to completely wrong conclusions unless they understand how the purchase dynamics in the low price category GPS really works and how their campaign influenced customer behaviour in general.
Great success. Garmin did nothing but made a deal anyway. Well, I had positive image about Garmin in advance and the sales person just gave me the last defining fact that led to decision to buy Garmin. Now that Garmin closed a deal with me and got me registered, I am quite likely to buy other stuff on top later on. Was Garmin’s success intentional? In reality the sales person’s advice could have been founded on her own perception or Garmin had analysed the differences between brands and intentionally launched training for retail sellers which states that their battery life is better than TomTom’s. How much longer? No idea. It never came up.
In the cross-channel decision-making journey customers move instinctively. There are conflicting interests, opinions, and influencers along the journey. How do you manage that? What do you know about the journey in practical level? Brands win and loose or worse, sell competitors products, without knowing it. Are you selling your competitors products? How do you manage chaos?
Have you got similar experiences? I’m looking for more real life experiences 🙂
More about how to map and study Customer Journey here https://futurecmo.org/2012/12/01/how-to-map-and-study-customer-journey/
Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer
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