Have you ever had a disappointing customer experience?  My wife and I certainly had one at a Currys store last week. We had been looking to buy a dishwasher for my Dad for a few month and found one at Currys a couple of months ago. As we wanted to be on hand to take delivery and install the new machine we left buying it until last week. Their sales person told us that the model we had selected was discontinued so the only one they had left was the display model. As it looked OK we decided to go ahead with the purchase. When we had paid for it the assistant and his manager removed the machine from the display and asked me to check it over for any damage so that it’s condition at that time could be recorded on their form.

This is where things got a little sticky as there were dents on both sides of the machine. Having not been shown this prior to paying I asked if they would reduce the price to reflect the damage. The response from the assistant and manager was that the price was set by head office and they did not have the authority to reduce it further. I said that must be quite frustrating for them as we would not be willing to accept the machine with the damage at the price show.

Whatever their reason initially they really didn’t want to entertain a price reduction. When we indicated that we would walk a way from the purchase they went off the shop floor to consult with someone in authority. When they returned they offered a 5% reduction which we accepted.

The way that this was begrudgingly given for what is a less than perfect product left us with a very negative view of Currys.

At the Local Shop Summit John Stanley introduced the Delight Strategy. He said Expectation + 1 = Delight. He explained this by saying that all your customers will come to your store with a level of expectation about what they are going to be able to buy, about your prices, the way the store is laid out and the way they are going to be served. When you and your staff deliver more than this base line your customers will be delighted.

What happened to my wife and I at Currys in Slough delivered something else. Expectation – 1 = DISAPPOINTMENT!

How do you think your customers rate you? Do you have any stories to illustrate success with your delight strategy, please share them with betterRetailing.com readers by leaving your comments in the box below.