Inspired by Vonnegut’s story graphs, I’ve created some graphs demonstrating different types of experience when signing up to a new service. The graphs show expectations set by marketing prior to becoming a customer and the ensuing impact on their satisfaction based on the actual service. The dotted black line in each graph represents the point at which the person becomes a customer.
This is the ideal – high expectations and a comparable service = happy customer.
This is the worst approach – making spectacular claims and setting elevated expectations before, only to disappoint with an average service later. A quick and expensive way to an unhappy customer.
If the actual service isn’t perfect, deliberately setting expectations low initially can mean customers receive a pleasant surprise when they find the service to be better than that. This is intention behind a beta launch. Again, happy customer (in the short term at least).
This could be a quick, visual way of assessing a brand’s approach to communications and the subsequent quality of service. It demonstrates the importance of having a joined up approach to a service and its marketing.