Exceeding customer expectations: an Atlantan tale

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Exceeding Customer Expectations: an Atlantan Tale

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We’re proud to have Riccardo Bocci, Product Manager and Industry Strategist at Workwave, guesting on our blog.

Two weeks ago I was in Atlanta with Antonio Perini, CEO of Milkman, to attend and speak at Home Delivery World 2016.

On the first night, we had a little adventure that made me think about the importance of exceeding customers’ expectations.

So: dinner time, day one. We were hungry, and tired and against my better judgment, Antonio decided for a walk from the hotel to the restaurant we wanted to try out: Poor Calvin’s.

After 20 minutes of trotting in the dark, we found ourselves in an unexpectedly dodgy area: old, ramshackle, four-storey buildings facing empty lots.

It was scary, you know, not a sight to which Italians (or Swedes, I now live near Göteborg) are accustomed. Scary for me but not for Antonio, given that he strolled wearing a shining white shirt, holding his brand new iPhone and looking at Google Maps…

Nothing happened and I’m sure the danger was more perceived than real, but when we reached the place I admit that I was a bit shaken, not quite hungry anymore and my feet, after a full day at the Convention, did hurt like hell.

It’s not easy to have a sour-willed customer change his mind. Not only: to change his overall mood. The only thing I wanted when I got there was to teleport back to the Hotel and enjoy a long night’s sleep.

Well: it turns out that dinner was delicious and the service flawless. When it was over the owner asked us if we needed a ride back. We said “yes” and asked if he could call a cab for us. He answered that he was going to call an Uber (what else?) and guess what: the fee would be on the restaurant. Let me point out that Poor Calvin’s is a place with great food but it is not a luxury restaurant by any means. In a short while, we were safely back at the Hotel.

Let’s draw a parallel between my dining experience and the experience of purchasing something online and having it delivered.

#When I found the product I wanted (Poor Calvin’s “Duck Dynasty!”) I got excited and started looking forward to completing the purchase

#I literally got scared on my way to the purchase, to the point I almost abandoned my “cart”

#I soldiered on, but my experience was at that point very compromised. I would have probably decided to not repeat the purchase with the same vendor

#What saved the day? An unexpected delivery option that corresponded to my secret wishes!

My restaurant experience didn’t end with the food or (worse!) the bill, it did end with a “delivery” at the Hotel’s door, exactly as I wished.

Poor Calvin’s immensely exceeded my expectations as a customer. Not only has the restaurant acquired two new faithful customers, ready to come back every time they’re in Atlanta; these new customers will spread the word and give the restaurant great reviews. And the product/food was only a part of this success.

At Home Delivery World we heard so much about this: understanding customers’ expectations even before they articulate them is what really can turn a good experience into an unforgettable one and generate repeat business. Delivery can be both an opportunity to create this experience or it can completely destroy it. Do you want to be Poor Calvin’s? Get your delivery game together.

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