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Personal Experience Factor, Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy

Posted By Persuasion Architects On October 1, 2004 @ 1:55 am In Conversion Rates,Online Persuasion | 1 Comment

What do word of mouth, repeat business, profit margin, and conversion rate all have in common?

They can all be dramatically impacted positively, or negatively by your company’s Personal Experience Factor (PEF).

Personal Experience Factor is the actual experience [1]a visitor/customer has with your company or products during a site visit, while interacting with your company, and after the sale.

Of course many other factors [2] contribute to the above, but by in large, PEF is the most commonly overlooked and misunderstood.

But overlook and misunderstand PEF at your peril.

We live in a world of blogs, email, forums, and chat where the word about your product, service, and company travels blisteringly quick…read this from the New York Times

A New Phone and Techie Controversy at Verizon

Last week on “The Amazing Race for the Perfect Phone,” Verizon Wireless announced that it was emerging from its cocoon of technological backwardness.

At long last, the carrier with the best signal coverage began offering a full-featured flip phone with camera, voice dialing, speakerphone, memory card and Bluetooth: the new Motorola v710. Best coverage, great phone — what more could a gadget freak want?

Unfortunately, Web sites and blogs are teeming with complaints about one particular aspect of the v710: its crippled Bluetooth feature

The story continues…

The V710′s page at the Motorola Web site sums it up like this: “From wireless talking to wireless synching, this phone makes it happen.”

What it doesn’t say is: “But Verizon makes it NOT happen.”

Verizon, it turns out, has turned off features 3 and 4. If you want to sync your address book with a computer, you have to buy a $40 cable. And if you want to transfer pictures, you’ll either have to send them by e-mail or use Verizon’s Pix Messaging service — 25 cents per photo. (You can’t transfer pictures via the phone’s removable memory card.)

“That’s Verizon for you,” wrote one disgruntled customer. “They want you to pay them so that you can send your own photos to yourself.”

“The v710 is targeting technophiles,” wrote another. “Crippling these features is an act of bad faith that undermines the desires and expectations of the core customers for this very product.”

So irritated are Verizon’s customers that the Web site NuclearElephant.com has instituted a hacking competition (www.nuclearelephant.com/papers/v710hackers.html). Crack the crippling code, and you win the pot contributed by interested parties (about $1,660 so far). Read the whole story [3].

The bad news is that bad news about you will spread speedier than butter on hot toast.

The good news is that good news about you will do exactly the same thing.

Zazzle has a good PEF

So we must do our part to help spread some good news. Our own Jeffrey Eisenberg [4]recently did some business with Zazzle.com [5], below is a pleasant exchange Jeffrey had Justin, a smart, well trained, considerate representative with Zazzle.


I never believed that your intent was to deceive. Now I am pleasantly surprised. You really only know the quality of a business’ service when there is a conflict. I would be willing to do business again and I’ll leave the best feedback that I can. I may even blog about it; our audience is fairly large.

Best regards,

Jeffrey Eisenberg
Homepage: http://www.FutureNowInc.com
Newsletter: http://www.GrokDotCom.com
Please visit our new Blog: http://www.GrokDotCom.com

From: Justin Dunscombe [mailto:justin@zazzle.com]
Sent: Sun 9/12/2004 5:56 PM
To: Jeff Eisenberg
Subject: RE: Your Print Order (#66348)

Hi Jeffrey,

Thanks for your reply. While we do describe the different shipping
methods we employ for both posters and portfolio prints and while we do
mention that portfolios will be shipped with other portfolio sized
images, we have run into this problem previously regarding the confusion
over the separate shipping charge. We have been trying to adjust our
listings in such a way as to further clarify our shipping terms, but
being that we’ve got tens of thousands of items, it’s an immense
undertaking. Please know that we are not trying to mislead anyone.

While our e-mail notifications do reflect the revised shipping charge
when two types of items are purchased, it usually comes after people
have already sent in payment. Unfortunately, neither PayPal nor eBay are
able to distinguish the items that are being purchased and cannot
calculate the appropriate shipping charge when different items are

As a gesture of good faith, we’d like to waive the additional fee
attached to your order. Should you decide to purchase from us in the
future, please know that we offer two types of prints that cannot be
shipped together and that ordering them both at the same time will incur
an additional shipping charge. If you ever have any questions on the
type of items you’re considering, please feel free to contact me.

Best Regards,
Support Team
Zazzle.com, Inc.


—–Original Message—–
From: Jeff Eisenberg [mailto:jeffe@futurenowinc.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2004 1:55 PM
To: justin@zazzle.com
Subject: Re: Your Print Order (#66348)

I paid immediately as I was hnoring our agreement. Didn’t you know this
when you set up the shipping fee? I bid based on the shipping fee and so
do others. I’m sure it was not your intention to be deceptive but
nvertheless that is the result. I was misled about the price. I don’t
think that I should be responsible for your mistake.

——Original Message——
From: Justin Dunscombe
To: Jeffrey Eisenberg
Sent: Sep 10, 2004 3:20 PM
Subject: Your Print Order (#66348)

Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you for your order! Unfortunately, we are unable to complete it at
this time due to a need for additional funds.

Part of your order is a portfolio sized print which comes on a glossy
card stock. The print is not very strong and requires different shipping
than our regular prints. In order to guarantee a quality product we
shrink-wrap the portfolio to a cardboard stabilizer and place it in a
stay flat envelope. Our poster prints are on a high quality satin-finish
paper and are easily rolled and shipped in a reinforced cardboard tube.

Because of this process, we must ship them separately, which incurs an
additional $5 shipping charge. If you’d like, we can send you an invoice
for this amount via PayPal. I apologize for any inconvenience this may

Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards,
Support Team
Zazzle.com, Inc.

What kind of experience are you offering your customers?

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2004/10/01/personal-experience-factor-your-best-friend-or-your-worst-enemy/

URLs in this post:

[1] is the actual experience : http://www.clickz.com/experts/design/traffic/article.php/3369271

[2] many other factors : http://www.clickz.com/experts/design/traffic/article.php/3393741

[3] Read the whole story: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/technology/circuits.html?oref=regi

[4] Jeffrey Eisenberg : http://www.futurenowinc.com/bios.htm#Jeffrey

[5] Zazzle.com: http://www.zazzle.com/

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