Claire Ratushny

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Claire Ratushny



So many brands with so many similarities. Is it any wonder that many brands are struggling? Does it surprise anyone that in every sector there are brands that are subsisting on an ever shrinking sliver of the pie?


The problem? Please reread the first sentence of my post. There doesn’t seem to...


It takes time to build a brand. Time to gain visibility, traction and trust. Time to build consumer sales.


Rebranding is a serious matter. It should never be undertaken lightly when it comes to heritage brands. Often, a simple tweaking is necessary to remain relevant—rather than a major overhaul....


We live in an ultra-competitive society. And we live in a society which loves winners and dismisses losers. That’s part of the reason why people take it so hard when they botch something or lose at something after putting in significant effort to succeed. I mean: what will people think? What will they...

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Comparing Two Different Customer Experiences

Interior design is one of my passions. As such, I scour the Brimfield antiques markets, shops and the Internet for distinctive home furnishings. It doesn’t have to be expensive; in fact, who doesn’t love to find something awesome at a bargain price? As long as it fits my vision, I’m excited.


Imagine my delight when a purveyor of wonderful French country furnishings offered a sale recently. I ordered some items and simply couldn’t wait to get them. Ditto with another resource I found that offers “curated” selections from interior designers far and wide.  


Customer service was excellent at both e-tail sites. Order confirmations were prompt and expressed appreciation for my business. Tracking information arrived on my desktop promptly. So far so good.


The merchandise arrived quickly and without problems. No damage. No issues whatsoever. Yet, I was struck by how different the experience was when opening each parcel. The French country products arrived in a large cardboard box with two inner boxes; one for each product. They seem to have been shipped from the warehouse in the same boxes they were likely packed in from their ship’s container. Then, there was no note inside; just a receipt.


A few days later, the next order arrived. This shipping box opened to reveal the second box containing my item, wrapped almost as beautifully as a gift. A thank you note that welcomed me as a new customer was printed on expensive stock and tied to the package with a ribbon. It became a very satisfying experience to “unwrap” my purchase.


In doing so, I was struck by the vastly different experiences I had had with each brand. The thought crossed my mind: the first purchase experience did not quite match up to the elegance of the brand. It did not deliver a memorable customer experience. In fact, I was disappointed—not by the quality of the products—but by the quality of the experience with the brand. It did not meet my expectations.


On the other hand, the second purchase delivered the brand with panache. It made my purchase all the more special. So here’s the point: do you deliver great customer experiences or do you fail to meet customer expectations in your business?


In these trying times, more than ever, delivering memorable experiences at every touch point can be the difference between making one sale or creating a loyal customer.


  • Have you been disappointed in a transaction by a brand that did not meet your expectations?
  • Conversely, have you become an enthusiastic devotee of a brand because they valued your business and did a little extra to make your experience memorable?


Should business go that extra mile to ship their products to customers in such a way as to heighten the experience? Does doing the unexpected make that experience more memorable and lead to more loyalty on the part of the customer?



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