Customer Experience – More Art than Science?

It’s surprising how often I have a less-than great customer experience.  Whether it’s a support call, sales prospect, or valued customer, being a 10 in a world of 5’s is a huge differentiator in any industry.

Just recently for example, I went to an auto dealer to browse cars and I would rate my customer experience as “less-than”.  Less than warm and welcoming, less than engaging, less than feeling valued, less than a 10.  So, what went wrong?  The person who greeted me was not rude, but she waited for me to approach her before she got engaged.  She asked if I needed help but didn’t smile, she checked for availability of a sales associate to assist me but didn’t provide options for the 20-minute wait to be seen.  In other words, my experience was less than a 10.

In a world of 5’s here are 5 simple tips to help raise your customers’ experience to a 10:

  1. Be Welcoming – Smile even if it’s a phone call. A smile exudes warmth and can be heard in your voice even through the phone or screen.
  2. Be Approachable – No one likes to ask for help and feel like they are a burden. Ask open ended questions such as “how can I assist you today” vs “do you need help.”
  3. Show a Sense of Urgency – Time is valuable so even if you can’t resolve an issue immediately, acknowledge that their time is important, and you are working on a resolution as quickly as possible.
  4. Offer Alternatives – This may be offering to have someone else assist or providing a call back vs putting the responsibility on the client to follow up.
  5. Show Appreciation – Closing with a simple and authentic “Thank you” goes a long way in making one feel appreciated. “Thank you for calling”, “thank you for reaching out”, “my pleasure” always helps the experience end on a positive note.

What other best practices help differentiate your experience?


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