It’s All About the Customer Experience
By Sarah Barr, Business Development Manager
You go out to eat with your friends, and you experience the worst customer service. You didn’t get the refill on your drink you requested, your meal took ten times longer to get to your table, it’s now cold and, by the way, it’s not even how you originally ordered it. How did the restaurant handle the situation? Did they apologize, comp your meal or offer you a coupon for next time or did they push it off like nothing even happened? You will most likely evaluate the “customer experience” you just encountered, and it will determine if you go back to that restaurant again, recommend it to a friend, or if you’ll write a good or bad review online.
Recently, my husband and I went furniture shopping. We walked into a store, and he went one way while I went the other. I found what I liked so I went to find him to show him. I walked by a recliner sofa and heard “Hi Honey, I’ve found the new furniture for us!” I looked over, and there was my husband reclined on this sofa with a beer in his hand. Yes, I said he had a beer in his hand. As I looked perplexed as can be, I said: “Where on earth did you get a beer?” He told me the sales associate who was helping us walked by while he was trying out the recliner and she said to him that he looked comfy, and she wanted to know if anything was missing to make this recliner more comfortable for him. Jokingly he said to her “yeah, a beer.” She smiled, said okay, and walked away. A couple of minutes later she returned with a beer.
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Now that’s what I’m talking about…the customer experience! She listened, focused on his needs and delivered! No matter if you are selling cars, cleaning houses, taking care of a patient or if you work for a non-profit, the customer experience has to be set in the front of your mind. You can have the best marketing campaign designed and executed, but if you don’t follow through on the wants and needs of your customers what good is the campaign?
Did you know that by 2020, the customer experience is gauged to surpass price and product as the ultimate buying motive? You need to make sure you are delivering the right experience by understanding your customer’s wants and needs. If you can do this, the sale, donation, and repeat customer will come naturally. Not to mention build customer loyalty and increase customer advocacy and referrals.
P.S.: In case you were wondering, we didn’t end up buying our furniture from that particular store. We ended up finding furniture that was a better fit for our living room elsewhere, but I badly wanted to purchase furniture from her. Not only did she give my husband a beer, but she followed up with a personalized thank you card in the mail and a friendly phone call. She was consistent, friendly, and not pushy.
What has been your best or worst customer experience?