A recent quote sent by an online retail chain sent shock waves through the online affiliate community, a quote that states; “We cannot promise you lower prices, we can only guarantee you a higher performance”. The quote comes with a link to a website that promises “higher performance guaranteed”. The chain warns its members not to click on the link or enter their credit card information until they have fully explored all the features this new program offers. Is this really functional behavior assessment? I would suggest not.
This particular online retail chain’s usage of the term functional behavior assessment is highly problematic. To define this term in a meaningful way is to say; “a set of action plans or expectations that guide users through the buying process and that are intended to reduce risk”. A functional behavior assessment report example would be something like; “We do not promise lower prices, we can only guarantee you a higher performance during each of our retail visits”. The quote clearly shows how deceptive the whole term is. In actuality, the functional behavior assessment is not about reducing costs or improving customer service but about understanding what motivates a customer to purchase from you in the first place.
What does this mean for your business? First it means you have a decision to make – Are you going to continue to accept this inaccurate description of your customer’s purchasing experience? Are you going to provide accurate feedback or do you risk the possibility of losing customers to a competitor? Many affiliate marketing programs have found that changing tack and being honest about the products and services they provide results in happier members and more satisfied customers. It is certainly a risk to cut corners when dealing with the buying decisions of your customer but often this small sacrifice produces large rewards.
Let’s look at an example using a functional behavior assessment. A customer is involved in an unhappy sale and is unhappy with the product or service they received. In the functional behavior assessment you are asked several questions to determine the root cause of their dissatisfaction. One of these questions would be; “How do you feel when you order this product and it doesn’t work as well as you expected? Describe what you were looking for in this product and what you did not find.”
This could also include other items along the same lines of the previous question. For instance; “When you made the purchase did you find that the price was reasonable?” Or “Did you feel that the product was delivered in a timely manner?” As you can see from the above example, these questions are designed to get the customer talking, and thinking rather than just accepting the negative feedback. This type of questioning is helpful because the client is more likely to admit what they did wrong and to actively work to improve on those mistakes rather than simply ignoring it.
In addition to the list of problems, you will also want to include a description of what happened. This portion of the functional behavior assessment should explain to the customer why they are rating the product or service bad. It is important to make sure that the description matches the actual problem. For instance, if they purchased the item thinking it would be easy to assemble and maintain, but it turns out the instructions were written in French, they will describe what they were doing that made it difficult to assemble and maintain. If they found the product shipped in poor condition, but it was shipped in great condition, they would describe how they contacted the manufacturer and how they were able to receive the product in good condition.
When you are using a functional behavior assessment report example, you should look for some kind of document that shows the actual problem and how the customer managed to overcome it. This is often called an after-action report and is often attached to or included in a case study. This information is invaluable to both the designer and the client. The design team can use the report to learn from the failures of their designs and how they could have done things differently. The customer can use it to understand why they bought the product and how they managed to use it to solve their problem.
There are many ways to create functional behavior assessment report examples. A quick Google search will lead you to many websites where you can find multiple examples. If you are just getting started with designing and developing customer satisfaction programs, consider creating one or two examples for your teams to work on. Over time, you can add more to the examples as your group grows.