The Six Stages of the Buyer Experience Cycle. Stage Three is Use.

How a customer uses your company’s offering, whether it’s a product or service is massively important. I know this seems intuitive but allow for a moment’s thought here.

Customer ExperiencesHow often have you bought that piece of furniture from Ikea, Target, or, Wayfair and realized, “Wow, there are a lot of parts here.” It is still a delightful surprise when you open a box of any kind and experience things just coming together. You know, when things are well explained and easy.

Translate this to an online offering. I build WordPress sites. I’m not a coder but have built 50 or so over the course of time. There are occasions where you utilize a Theme, the skin that rides over the WordPress software architecture allowing for design and functionality. When these themes are poorly designed, difficult to work with, or poorly updated or supported, they represent a poor user experience.

When at a brake shop one time, I attempted to save money, and went a cheap route. My car came back to me with grease stains in the headliner and on the steering wheel. This was a very bad user experience.

When you open a set of new ear phones for you phone or some other technology and the set-up is in a language you can’t read or is poorly documented; or when something is secured so poorly that it is broken or so firmly packed that it is impossible to release, these are poor user experiences.

How are customers finding the use of your offerings? 

A quick reminder around context. We are in stage three of the Blue Ocean Strategy Buyer Experience Cycle. Stage one was purchase, stage two was delivery. How customers purchase your product is of course, key. How they receive it is vital. How they use it may well be the defining factor in determining whether they buy again or recommend it to someone else.

You have to ask, how is my product used? Does it require training? It is easy to store when not in use? It the product’s use represented properly in its instruction? Revisit the buyer utility map below.

Buyer Utility Map

What are the right questions to ask? Examples include the following.

Is my product simple in its set up and use? What are the blockages to simplicity?

Is it convenient? What are the blockages to convenience?

Is there risk in using my product? What are the blockages to safety? Lithium batteries burning on airplanes ring a bell?

Is it fun and does it make me look good to use the product or service? What are the issues if not?

Is it environmentally sound and congruent for me to use the product? If not, why?

When you answer these questions, you unlock value innovation. Don’t shy away from your offerings weaknesses or barriers. This is where the opportunity truly exist.

If you’d like to learn more about the systems and processes around to unlock value innovation, set up a call. I’m a fan of business. I’m interested in your work! Set up a free call here. My commitment is to see you leave with something of value.

Also, I’d encourage you to join The Blue Ocean Strategist Community. This free member area is just getting started. The goals? Connection, collaboration, and community.

Sherman G. MohrSherman G. Mohr is an Insead Certified Blue Ocean Strategist based in Nashville, TN.