The importance of the customer experience


If like me, you are brand loyal and tend to buy from the same brands.  usually go for one brand (or another), depending on the price, student discount, the ease of the website and the customer service. When I find a brand or shop I like I tend to stick to it, for ease

If you read my blog on shopping savvy, you will know how I like to shop. Bad experiences put me off. For example, SSE took £300 out of my account without even letting me know. This was pretty scary, so I left the company. I am now with Bulb, who so far has been much more competitive in terms of price and their online website is incredibility user-friendly.

Over summer, I brought a pair of Reeboks from Schuh. Living in Scotland has a lot of great benefits, such as the beautiful highlands but as you may be aware the weather is not one! Walking with wet feet, no one likes that! So, after some shopping around, I brought a pair of Reebok trainers to walk to and from the university. I really liked this pair of shoes, especially as the normal union jack was a pride flag. I was taking extra care with them.

Rip in Reebok Shoes

Yet three months later they have split at the toe, which looks disheveled and during Scotland’s world-renowned summer my feet still get wet!!!  Disappointing. Have you ever experienced this sort of damage in shoes?

I’d never experienced this sort of damage, it was clearly a fault in the shoe. The leather had pulled from the stitching, clearly more than wear and tear I thought. Plus, I could see stress-induced lines on the top of the shoe leather, nowhere near the front of the toe.

I decided to take them back instore after trying to contact Reebok, who point blank refused to interact as they had been brought in Schuh. Fair enough.

In-store, I quickly changed my perception of Schuh.

Surprisingly, the shop assistant tartly declared “it’s wear and tear”, “you brought the wrong size” and “you must walk funny”. I struggle to think about how or why I would buy myself the wrong size shoe. I’m not a podiatric expert, I haven’t undertaken any gait analysis and it is possible I walk funny, (though none of my very pass-remarkable friends have ever commented on this and I doubt they’d have missed such a chance). But it does not seem a podiatric plausibility to walk so funnily that I put such a strain on the upper side of a shoe that the leather breaks after three months wear.

I’m not an expert in customer service either, but this cannot be it. I left that store humiliated and upset. I hadn’t been expecting my money back but was expecting an apology and a discount so that I could have brought a new pair. I definitely wasn’t expecting an inexpert allegation of flawed walking.

I spoke to some friends who told me about their experiences with Office, I knew they offered a good range but had never really shopped with them before. I will from now.

This experience has taught me a valuable lesson in customer values. I will be using this in my job at the Centre for Entrepreneurship and make sure all my interactions in the future will be customer experience focused. When dealing with customers remember to put yourself in their proverbial shoes.

Written by:

Hi, I'm a Masters Civil Engineering student and the marketing officer at the Centre for Entrepreneurship. I hope you enjoy reading my blog about studying at the University of Dundee.

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    3 Responses to “The importance of the customer experience”

    1. Having a bad customer experience can make you leave a brand you have been buying since always; but also a good experience can make you forget mishaps or problems in the future. For example, I think Argos has a really good customer experience, they changed 3 times the suitcase of a friend of mine for free. They had some kind of problem in the wheels, or my friend was maybe a wee bit brute with it hahahaha. I vote for the second option.

      (Oh, and sorry about what happend to those shoes, they must be cool as you described them )

      • Ethan Jones

        Hi Dan, I completely agree with you, a good experience in the past can definitely help you to forget/forgive mistakes/mishaps and allow you to continue to enjoy the company no matter what happened 🙂

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