Grateful Experience. Rather than just Delightful.

It was in the news a few years ago that IRS waived penalty fee from a couple in California. In the letter, they only explained their situation with a new baby and asked for an extension. However, the IRS waived penalty fee of $2,000 and this relieved them from incurring more debt. The new parents were extremely grateful when they heard the decision by IRS.

This is the type of positive experience every product should deliver.

Customer has a set of expectations when using your product. A good experience is one of their expectations. I would say the primary expectation. If anything goes wrong with their experience, they feel resentful to your product. And any other negative emotions. It’s only logical.

So how do you create a grateful experience? Rather than a resentful experience.

Designing delightful experience for your customer was all the rage. I would say this can be achieved by being attentive to how user behave when they use your product and improve your product iteratively. However, it needs to go beyond that.

The feeling of delight is experienced by your user when your product works really well. It’s another level to generate a gracious feeling in your user. Your user won’t only be delighted that your product works really well. They will be so gracious for it that they will be upset if it’s taken away from them. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution to this as it’s a case-by-case basis. However, the example above is a good example for this kind of gracious customer experience.

As Bjork once said in her thank you speech at Brit Awards in 1998: I am Grateful … Grapefruits!

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