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Customers Don’t Care About the Details; They Care About the Destination

Shep Hyken

04/21/23 | Customer Experience


Customers Don’t Care About the Details; They Care About the Destination

On a recent flight, the captain of the airplane announced over the PA system what time we would arrive at our destination. That would have been enough to make most people happy. However, he continued his announcement with a three-minute-plus speech. We learned that we would take off to the west, make a U-turn a few minutes later to head east, how high we would go, the various cities we would be flying over, that we would take a right turn as we approached the runway to land, and more. I looked around and noticed many people were annoyed or had stopped paying attention to the long-winded announcement.

The point is most customers don’t care as much about the details of the journey as they care about the destination.
Here’s another example, which has nothing to do with a journey but does have to do with an overload of details that can hurt a sale or erode the customer experience. Some people love a fancy, expensive sports car, while others just want reliable transportation. Even though these customers essentially want the same thing – a car to get them from one place to another – they are very different customers.

A few years ago, my wife and I were looking for a new car. We narrowed it down to the make and model – even the color – we thought we wanted. We walked into the dealership and were approached by a salesperson who was very friendly and engaging. Then, we told him what we were looking for. So, he took us over to the exact car we wanted. He was very excited. He started to share details about the size of the engine, how many cylinders, how quickly the car could accelerate from zero to 60, the RPMs, and other details that mattered nothing to us.

Had he asked why we were interested in this model car, he would have realized we had no real interest in such details. Our version of the destination was that we wanted a nice-looking car (and it was) that was comfortable, safe, and easy to drive. Maybe we wanted to know a few other details about the car, but nothing to the extent he was sharing. Had he paid attention, he would have noticed he had us when he said, “I have the exact car you’re looking for.”

My point is that most customers don’t care about the details behind the experience or product they are buying. It’s up to us to recognize this and respond accordingly. All they want to know is what awaits them at their metaphorical destination.