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Tom runs eagerly to the store and picks a pack of chips. All excited he goes about trying to tear open the pack. He tries hard till his face turns red out of sheer exhaustion, fighting a losing battle with the pack and the thought of having it in his hand but unable to eat it. His mother tries her hand at it and gives up. In comes big brother and seeing the situation says 'Give it to me. I'll open it in a second'. He takes a ball pen, punctures the pack and 'POOF' the pack suddenly opens as though that was child's play. He beams at his mother and says 'This is how we always open it at school. They never seem to open the right way'.

Was the pack supposed to open 'POOF', by someone elder or easily by Tom himself? Was it made easy for a customer to start using it and experiencing satisfaction from the word go? 'How sticky are you about satisfaction?'


Fighting to open products brings to mind that bargain pack of six all wrapped taut with sticky tape. It is wrapped so tight that extracting a piece from the six pack is a Herculean task. It is a bout worth watching to see who will come out triumphant, the customer in tearing it open or the product in not letting him do so. The tape is so strong that it sticks to one finger while trying to wedge with the other. In the end even if you manage to win you are deprived of the product details as it invariably sticks to the tape and tears along either in part or full. Was all this worth the bargain?

Packers would justify with 'one should be methodical by using a scissor or any such instrument in taking it apart'. While it is true, are these always handy the moment a customer wants to use it. I am sure we have all been through this some time or the other. It is all a question of, 'how sticky are you about satisfaction?'


Still stuck with sticky tapes, you have those 'Buy 2 and get 1 free' promotions. A promo pack of three all tightly taped together. A big attraction for any shopper. Good deal. Great bargain. You get so enamoured by the offer that you fail to notice that invariably the flavour, colour or expiry date is nowhere to be seen on the outside of the pack. You cannot even peek as they are all wrapped taut. It is supposed to be a surprise. Now you take it home and methodically cut the tape with a scissor only to find that the expiry of the product is a week to a month away. If you can consume it in that short period you've got a bargain but if not, you have been shortchanged. Or, the pack is of the same flavour. Especially the one you abhor most. You are sure half the world feels similar. Was it worth buying 2 and getting 1 free?

Still on the sticky business is when you have the price label or the promo info covering the details of the product and making your purchase a gamble. It is either stuck precisely over the list of ingredients/composition or just covering the year of expiry. You now pull out 3 or 4 pieces of the same product so that you get the necessary information from those pieces before purchasing it. That is, provided all pieces are not marked similarly. And if it is, it gets to be a sticky business once again.

Promotions happen almost every day of the year. They could be either to clear stock, old models, expiry round the corner or that genuine reduction to benefit the customer. Whatever the reason for a promotion, let the customer know what he is carrying home. Give him the satisfaction of scrutinising the product to his heart's content. Bargain or no bargain let him see for himself, reason out and decide on availing of the bargain. Maintain his level of satisfaction as you would, should he purchase an item that is not on sale. It is all a question of, 'how sticky are you about satisfaction?'


Still stuck with the price label, King buys this item as a gift. Before wrapping he tries peeling of the price label only to find that the label stands defiant to his efforts. He is initially nice and gentle in the operation. Soon he gets quite hostile and starts to try and scrape it free. The label's vehemence and his irritation convert the exercise to a slipshod effort, with part of the label still sticking and part pulled out with glue marks still on the product. He finally turns wise to take a marker and blotch the price. During this entire exercise his blood pressure slowly but surely rises with his ears finally turning red. It is all a question of, 'how sticky are you about satisfaction?'


What also takes the cake, sticky of course, is that dinner set you purchase and find the manufacturers label or the name of the design gaping from inside of the bowls or from the center of the plate. The stickers are affixed exactly where food is placed, served and eaten from. Toxic or not if this peels off it is great. You may rinse and put it to good use. But very often it needs to be scrapped off leaving glue marks. To get rid of these glue marks you need to thoroughly wash with a dish washing liquid to remove it. God bless you if have purchased a 96piece dinner set and need to have it ready for the party that night. By the way, please also checkout the set of crystal glasses you proudly purchased, lest there are labels stuck like a leech.

I am sure we all have experienced situations like this some time or the other with our satisfaction levels moving according to those experiences. Consciously or subconsciously every customer must have wondered about these sticky issues.

While these are definitely not lose-lose situations, it can be converted to an absolute win-win if you understand your business and its sticky issues. See if they satisfy customers. Look for ways around to make it less sticky and more customer friendly. For it is always possible that the less sticky you get in your business, the more glued the customer gets to your business.



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