Customer Experience Food for Thought

I want to eat there!

As many of you know, I have been doing quite a bit of traveling lately, speaking about my book and sharing the Customers Rock! message all over the world – most recently in Bogota, Colombia! As most travelers are aware, the customer experience is especially important when you are away from home; it becomes something we are truly living.

So as you can imagine, the sign in the above photo really caught my eye. It was on the wall of a restaurant, Max’s Cafe, at the San Francisco Airport. Here is what it says,

“We run the restaurant for the ENJOYMENT AND PLEASURE of our customers, not the convenience of the staff or the owners.”

Who wouldn’t want to eat there? As customers, isn’t this what we are hoping to find in the businesses we frequent? Whether the business is a restaurant serving hungry travelers or a company providing office supplies, we want things to work for US, the way WE want them to; we don’t want to be inconvenienced.

This particular restaurant has thought through what could make the experience better for their customers, travelers who are rushing past to catch their flights. For example, Max’s Cafe is known for their packed sandwiches. They have thought about travelers who need to grab and go, eating their meal on the planes, and have created a container for their sandwiches which keeps the salad and those juicy pickles separate from the bread. Very convenient for their patrons! Oh, and the man creating my sandwich felt like my own personal lunch advisor; he was very engaged in creating a great experience for me.

Missing the Mark

But this great experience is not always happening, is it? The results of the mis-steps in this area are not positive for businesses. According to the new American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, more than nine in ten Americans (93%) say that companies fail to exceed their service expectations.  One in two (55%) have ditched a purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience. Businesses are leaving a lot of money on the table due to their poor customer experiences, including marketing and customer service.

Tips for Improvement

How can you go beyond just customer service and generate more opportunities from your existing customers? I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike Stelzner of the popular site Social Media Examiner. Watch the interview to get some tips on how to exceed your customers’ expectations and create a ROCKin’ customer experience.

What about you? How do you create a great customer experience? Are you struggling to keep your current customers at the forefront of your business? What tips do you have for others on how to get more opportunities from your current customers?

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21 Responses

  1. I create great customer experiences by first giving the customer what they want. If I cannot give them 100% of what they want I will certain put 200% into get them as close to that 100% and they will know it. Secondly, I believe honesty is important and being transparent about what you can and cannot do, if you need to bring in more help, always let the customer know. Customers always like knowing they’ve been included in the planning and decision process. Keeping customers at the forefront is not an issue for me. The best tip is as I stated before, give your customer what they want, and they will tell others and they themselves will not want to lose your valuable services.

  2. “One in two (55%) have ditched a purchase in the past year because of a poor customer service experience. ”

    That right there should serve as a wake up call. The customer experience directly impacts your customer retention. If people don’t enjoy doing business with your brand don’t expect them to stick around for long.

  3. I’ve been in customer service for almost 5 years, I treat my customer as very important person because without them we are not in this industry. I deal a lot of customer already irate, sad customer and happy customer which sometimes you need to show that you care for them like putting yourself on their shoes if they are frustrated or disappointed on the service. Assuring that you are doing your 100% service on resolving their issue and you will keep them posted to let them feel that you are sincere in resolving their problem. Treating customer right and providing the best customer service to customer is the best experience that they will always remember every time they call customer service. I enjoyed reading and getting tips to exceed your customers’ expectations and create a ROCKin’ customer experience.

  4. Listened to your interview and really love the ROCK acronym. All four of those elements are important to ensure a culture of great service is created and sustained over time.

  5. Maryke

    I believe in keeping it simple and sticking to the websites which make sense, are easy to use and serve a purpose. Have you ever heard of the Customer Service website http://hellopeter.com/? It’s a website which serves as a gateway between Consumer and Supplier, and allows me to have direct access to hundreds of Suppliers. Oh, and it’s FREE.

  6. Maryke

    Empathy is underrated when it comes to the customer experience, but I believe it’s because Suppliers sometimes seem “untouchable”. I’ve come across a website called http://www.hellopeter.com which puts me in touch with my suppliers by allowing me to write reports about them, of which a copy gets sent to them AND they have the opportunity to reply to me. And, hopefully, give me some empathy.

  7. Loria M.

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  8. Great tips there Becky! Our company thrive to innovate, innovate and innovate. Our battle is in the red ocean–real head-to-head competition but I always emphasize that our focus is not the competition nor competitors, it’s is how we continuously increase value for our customers. And there goes the brainstorm of great customer experience and long-term strategic relationship.

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