Think back to the last time you were on the phone or in a store and had to either return an item or handle an issue that required assistance. Do you remember how the conversation went and how was it handled? How customers are treated and the type of experience they receive is becoming increasingly important, and according to a recent study by Walker Information, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
There have been two recent experiences I have had as a customer that I’d like to share — one was good and one was bad. And there’s something to be learned from both.
Good Customer Experience Example
I was at an eyeglass store and needed my sunglasses to be fixed. They’re nice sunglasses, and I was worried that the way I had bent them would mean needing to get a new pair, which is not something I wanted to do.
After arriving at the store, I was met by a very friendly person at the counter and told her what I was looking to have done. She directed me to a colleague of hers who was working with another guest at the time. He stopped what he was doing and had another colleague of his fill in for him, then took me over to another table to look at my sunglasses. He saw exactly what was wrong and asked that I wait patiently for a few minutes while he went to work on fixing my sunglasses. Within roughly five to six minutes, he was finished and gave them back to me. They were as good as new. I asked him if there was any charge for his time, and he said no and thanked me for coming in. I left feeling very good that my sunglasses were fixed, but also very happy with the type of experience that they provided. Next time I need a new pair of glasses or sunglasses I will definitely be going to this store. And if someone I know is in need of glasses, I will undoubtedly refer them.
Bad Customer Experience Example
A few years back I bought a new car. I was looking for a specific car and was able to find it at two different, competing lots. After a few weeks of multiple test drives, I had chosen what I wanted. Now came the fun negotiation part. I started with lot #1. Upon arrival, my wife and I sat down and spoke with a salesperson — one that we liked a lot. He started the process and about halfway through the conversation, he went to get his manager. This guy was the complete opposite of the salesperson. He was trying to sell us things we didn’t need and trying to pressure me into making a decision that night. It was very uncomfortable, and my wife and I both left after the discussion, hoping the next experience would be better.
Luckily for us, the people we spoke with at lot #2 were great, and I ended up purchasing the car from them. They were very nice, easy-going and gave us a great price on the car I wanted. Since purchasing, I have provided two referrals to the salesperson I dealt with and always recommend people I speak with who are looking at this particular brand to go there.
Both of these examples demonstrate the importance of providing a positive, rewarding experience for customers, and that’s something Esker prioritizes and does extremely well. Customer experience is of utmost importance to us. We value it so highly that we have an entire team dedicated to it. Upon signing up with Esker for one of our automated software services and after the onboarding team has implemented the tool, that’s when the customer experience team takes over. At that point, the customer always has an expert by their side to help them with questions, issues, refresher trainings or new trainings for staff members as well as to make sure they are getting the most out of their solutions. We’re continuing to add resources and grow our customer experience team because we understand the importance of providing our customers with a great experience that makes them feel valued.
So, when you’re looking at an automated software solution or any type of product or service, of course consider the price and product, but also be sure to ask about what type of customer experience and support they offer. If the company offers top of the line for all three areas, you’ll be a very happy and satisfied customer, and that is what it is all about.