The Experience of Great Customer Service

At the conclusion of a customer service seminar I recently conducted, a participant asked, “If you could just provide just one suggestion to improve customer service in an organization, what would it be?

I responded with the same answer I would give to any group of CEOs or any group of frontline employees. It’s to move from a task mentality to an experience mentality. Too many organizations and too many employees focus on completing tasks. Although the task may be done correctly, that approach certainly doesn’t create an emotional bond between a customer and an organization.

Walk into any organization and you can immediately recognize if employees are simply completing tasks or if they’re creating experiences. As a customer, if you feel you are simply being processed, then completing tasks is the objective. If you feel welcome and appreciated, that organization or employee is focused on creating a positive experience. The activities may be the same, but the feeling is completely different.

Think how each of the following interactions can be handled as tasks, and then think about how they can be treated as an experience:

  • Answering the phone
  • Answering a customer question
  • Ringing up a purchase
  • Delivering a customer check in a restaurant
  • Telling a customer what repairs were done on his/her car
  • Drawing a patient’s blood
  • Giving a airplane safety spiel
  • Discussing company benefits with new employees
  • Taking a bank deposit

Every one of these interactions can be done in a manner that either builds a relationship with a customer, or simply completes a transaction. The above list can be expanded to include any interaction between a customer and an employee.

The popular online video, Johnny the Bagger, highlights this difference and is worth checking out if you haven’t already seen it.

How about you? Are you completing tasks or are you creating experiences?