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GEC - Article - Delivering a Product Vs Delivering an Experience - Blog Header

Delivering a Product Vs Delivering an Experience

By Mike Midgley Posted 23 October, 2019 In GrowthEngine Community - Article - Delivering a Product Vs Delivering an Experience

In this GrowthEngine episode, I'd like you to think about whether you're just delivering a product, or you're actually delivering an experience. 



The Outside Caterers Product Blindness Mistake

It came to mind recently when I was working with a client in the catering business, and we were chatting around what do they do. 

As an outside cater, we were also talking a little bit about the type of services and packages that they deliver and they do catering for weddings, parties, corporate events, the usual event types that require catering with or without table service. 

They do food only, with optional table and chairs, tablecloths, decoration, waiting for staff, et cetera. 

We've all been to a corporate event or a private event that's had a private caterer. 

As we were talking, and getting down to the value proposition, I asked the team, 

"What do we do?"

And usual, "Well, we do outside catering." 

So me playing Devil's advocate, "What does that mean?" 

The reply was "Well, we go out to people's events, and we cook or pre-prepared food, and we deliver that." 

I covered at the end of it, is that a job well done? And there were various discussions around that. 

Different people said they do weddings, people said they do parties, corporate events, all the things ... Automotive dealership events, festival events, those type of things. 

They actually even do food trucks as well for those type of concerts where you there are hamburgers as well. 

I said, "So at the end of the day or the end of the product or the end of the service delivery, what actually have we achieved?" 

And again, varying answers around the room.

Some people were saying that we've cooked so many meals or served so many plates, associated drinks, comes as part of the outside catering, from that side. 

And then a lot of people said, 

"Well, the events are broken down. We pack up, we clean up, we go from there." 

Missing the Clients Point of View

I'm saying, "Well, what have we missed?" 

And this is what I want you to think about today: What have we missed? 

This outside catering company did outside catering. 

And it was totally and utterly focused on delivering what is sold, instead of delivering the experience through what is sold. 

Let me give you a little bit more of an expanded example. 

I sit down with the team and I said, 

"Well, at the end of the day, what do people see?” 

Yeah, we ordered X number of plates or X number of drinks or X number of food trucks, for X number of hours, and we served that product. 

Is that enough? 

Focus On The Experience

No. What you should be thinking about is, what experience did people have? 

How many people came up to the chefs or the service staff after and said, 

'You know, the way you cooked that beef or the way you presented that was phenomenal." 

People don't talk about what you do, they talk about what they experienced ... 

When people say to you, "What did you do this weekend?", You can say, "Oh, we had this party and outside catering company, and we had this party and we did this, this, this, this." 

They don't talk about, 

"Oh, we hired this company to serve 300 plates or 300 drinks or put five food trucks outside." They don't talk about that. 

They talk about, Oh, wasn't the hog roast great? 

Or the taco stands great, or the way that that catering company presented the food. It tasted delicious. 

They all gave us a little favours bag or doggie bag as you want to call it to go home with, with some new recipes in. 

They gave us an excellent service, oh and the food was great too. 

You're creating that experience. 

And too many businesses are focused on what you deliver instead of the experience that you create. 

And that's what I want you to think about.

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Take Time Out To Reconsider

I want you to sit down with your teams, or ... Like me, I do a lot of my thinking here in the car. 

That's when I record these GrowthEngine episodes. 

I do an hour and 10 minutes to work most days, and this is my thinking time. 

For you it may be something different, so maybe you sit down, find that quiet space, and ask yourself a question: are we just doing what we're doing, or are we delivering an experience that the client would remember, and would want to buy again? 

There's a great saying by Walt Disney:

“Do what you do so well that people will want to see it again, and bring their friends.” - Walt Disney

Wow, look at that quote, it is right up there for sure. Disney is a dollar-making machine, so think about that. 

The Project Funnel Experience

I look at it in our agency and recently we had a client who recently asked us and said, 

"Mike, will you put a funnel in place for us?"

They didn't want to come into a full retainer which is fine, no problem. We're always happy to do a piece of project work to start with as a test case to prove the concept, providing there's an opportunity to do a retainer afterwards. 

But the point I'm getting here is, "Will you put a funnel in place," so I cover "What are you trying to achieve?" the answer was "We want to get leads." I say "But why? For what end goal? Are we trying to increase leads, are we trying to increase revenue?" 

Whatever it would be, there is a deeper goal. 

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It's about taking that care to understand what that experience expectation is. 

Then the conversation expanded to me asking "Who's doing what?", was a question that we asked. 

The client responded by sating 

"Well, we want you to do everything." 

  • Okay, so we're doing the strategy? - Yes was the reply

  • We're building the persona? - Yes was the reply

  • We're building the assets? - Yes was the reply

  • We're doing the paid traffic? - Yes was the reply

  • We're doing the optimization? - Yes was the reply

"Great. Okay, so what's your role in it, Mr Customer?" 

And the blank face was evident. "Well, that's why we're hiring you." 

"Well no, your responsibility is just to take those leads, follow them up, so do we need to put a sales process in place behind that?

Do we need to train your sales team to take these inbound leads forward?" 

It's about creating that experience. It'd be very easy for us to say, "Yeah, we'll take the money, and we'll just do the funnel," 

However, we're actually trying to care about the experience that you're getting out at the other end. 

We're not just saying, "We'll build you a funnel and that's what you've ordered, that's what you've paid for, so that's what we've delivered," and hopefully it will get that result. 

We're trying to create that experience that people say, 

"Yeah, this company actually cares. They could have taken us money. They didn't. They highlighted a lot of other things up front”

The process and service experience gave them an informed choice whether they decide to either share some of the responsibility internally, or pay us to do that extra work, but ultimately working to the third, and degree of why we're doing it.

Because that experience matters. That smile on face matters. That's what I'm asking you to think about. 

Your Experience Focus Recap:

1. Acid test your team. 

Ask them this question: 

Do we do what we do, or do we achieve the experience that the client expects? or over-expect. 

Do we over-exceed that expectation. 

Ask that question. Find out. 

Get it from the people on the team. It doesn't just have to be a sales team. 

It could be a marketing team, your customer service team. 

And one of the best things is finance teams. They're the people who get it in the neck when people aren't paying the bills because they're unhappy. 

Maybe they're not saying as much to the marketeers or the sales or the account management, but when finance is saying they've cancelled the direct debit because they're not happy, or they're not paying this month, that's usually a great way to get that information out of them. 

Ask that question: do we just do what we do, or do we do it for the experience it creates and the end result?

 2. Move onto Your Product / Service Analysis

Sit down and look at each of your products, and say, "If I deliver this product, yes I've delivered the product. That's automatic. But what actually does the experience feel like to the client?" 

Write that down. What does it feel like to the client? 

Why would they tell their friends? 

I've had a conservatory built. They did a great job. Great. 

But they don't really talk about that after the first week. 

  • What they talk about is, oh, they can now sit in the garden outside with the conservatory open. 

  • The kids can play in there 

  • We can have parties there, and drinks in there, and great, we can expand. 

That's the experience that they're buying; not just buying a conservatory, buying the enhanced living experience I suppose is what I'm saying. 

3. Score yourself out of 10, 10 being the highest, 1 being lowest 

Is the culture right? Fair enough got that out of the way. 

Is the product, and is the experience ... That experience, what does it feel like? 

If you bought your own product, and you got that end delivery, how would you rate your experience? 

And let's not fall into the, 

"Oh, we do it better than anybody else," because that's usually BS. It's usually BS. 

That's what you think; it's not usually what happens. 

And ultimately, the best way to do that is to survey your customers. 

Why don't you ask them this: 

“What is the single biggest delightful experience that you receive from consuming our product or taking delivery of our product?” 

And let your customers tell you. 

There are three little tips for you. Find out what your culture is and what your staff think. Look at your products, and then define an experience that it should create, then go and ask your customers and see if that marries or see if you've got a disconnect. 

I'd love to get your feedback; leave us a question below, leave us a comment below. 

We'd be happy to add some value to your day and get those answered for you.

“Do what you do so well that people will want to see it again, and bring their friends.” - Walt Disney

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About The Author
GEC - Article - Delivering a Product Vs Delivering an Experience - Blog Header
Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and franchised his businesses 68 times.