Here's a great blurb on the customer experience for purchasing a Mini Cooper:
So high is demand for Minis that the waiting period for a customized car (which account about 95 percent of those sold) is now generally in the 8-to-12 week range. So, Mini (which calls its dealers "motoring advisors") keeps its waiting customers happy with "Make Waiting Fun" welcome kits that "include retro 1950s games like Interstate Highway Bingo" and a "Mini Parking Only" stencil. Mini also created the "Where's My Baby" program online, which enables waiting buyers to track the progress of their cars, and a bulletin board where waiting -- as well as existing -- owners can exchange questions and share their experiences. The site has attracted some 12,000 registered users, most of whom seem to have "named" their cars. The real payoff, though, is the viral effect. Notes John Stramatos of Nissan, who stays in touch with long-waiting 350Z, www.z.com, buyers via postcards and coffee-table books: "Those people bring in other customers."
The Mini team understands that the period between purchase and delivery is a crucial one for customer satisfaction.... this principle applies whether you're selling cars or phone lines. In the telecom world, customers must wait for installation of a phone or internet line. Often there's a breakdown in the hand-holding process; customers want to know when they're getting their service and make numerous calls to find out the status. This creates a burden on the inbound call center and frustration for the customer. One of my clients is working on a web interface that will show a barometer for the status of T-1 installations, which is often a 45 to 60-day process. They're also creating a scheduling desk to make proactive communication with customers about the status of their order.
If the purchase process in your company includes a waiting period, what can you do to alleviate 'buyer's remorse' and create anticipation?