Will customers pay more for a better experience?

If we were to ask “will customers pay more for a better experience” of the Magic Ball, chances are good that the answer would be “all indications point to yes.”

For a good many customers, it is worth to pay a bit extra to get better service. Recently, someone in our office flew on a very low cost airline. Needless to say, the customer service was minimal. The seats were cramped, and everything was pay for service (drinks, bags, check-in).  Our colleague thought it may be better to pay a few extra dollars to fly on an airline with a bit more service and comfort.  Because in the end, we are not just purchasing a product or service, we are paying for an experience.

We came across this blog post, entitled “Customer service is more important than the cheapest price” by Phillip Wilkinson in the UK-based website Econsultancy.com.  Wilkinson certainly thinks that we should look at customer service first, then price.

Wilkinson writes the following:

I’ve had a theory for a long time that the majority of people want quality products and great customer service more so than a good cheap deal. Don’t get me wrong, people like value for money, but not at the cost of a shoddy experience.

But perhaps the most important point is this:

Companies make mistakes because they are human and that’s understandable. What it really boils down to is how they go about fixing these mistakes and solving the customers problem. This makes the difference between retaining and losing customers.

The problem with companies that are the cheapest is that they often pay their people cheaply too. And people who get paid very low wages are not people who are willing to go the extra mile.  Also, when companies look for a cheap workforce they will most certainly get a less experienced workforce, which in turn translates to poor service.

In the end, some customers will choose to save money at the expense of customer service. Some will pay more for a better experience.  The real question is, can you obtain REPEAT business with a bad customer experience?

Your thoughts? Please share in the comments.



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