People in business make bold promises every day:
“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”
“Your package will get there overnight. Guaranteed.”
“Relax, go at your own pace, in a judgment-free zone.”
“A hassle-free, happy buying experience.”
“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
Promises are easy. Delivery? Not so easy. But it can be. In the past two weeks, I experienced three of the absolute best promises delivered. I bought a car, made a change to my insurance policies, and transferred money from bank accounts — on a Friday afternoon in a matter of hours. On April Fool’s Day 🤣.
But this was no joke. It was after 3 pm on a Friday when I selected a few cars online, called my insurance agent, scheduled a test drive, moved some funds — and I was driving home with my selection at 8 pm. The entire time I was thinking about how intentional and impressive and seamless every step of the process was.
“Susan, refresh the app and you should see the new policy and binder in your documents.”
“Your transfer was successful, Susan — is there anything else you’d like to do today?”
“Susan, here are the keys to your new car — happy driving.”
My insurance agent ACTUALLY spoke to me like a I was his neighbor. Care, prompt attention (on a Friday evening). There was ZERO price haggling or sales pressure (in fact there are no sales associates at CarMax). And if there is a FASTER way of transferring money on planet earth than Zelle, I haven’t discovered it yet.
In our line of work (website design), these are examples of perfected UX (User Experience). We answer this question daily: how does this design present/provide THAT experience for the user?
Good question. Our bold promise is: "No one should have an ugly website — and everyone should have professional admin support when they need it."
We’re proudly working on it — client feedback says we’re delivering. That’s good, but the hood’s always up in our garage, the tinkering and test driving continue. It’s a sweet ride.
My last experience at a car dealership was 30+ years ago, if that tells you anything. Suffice it to say, I have gone out of my way to avoid repeating that ordeal. I was pretty naive back then and visited the showroom alone, totally unprepared for the high-pressure, condescending, and bullying (masqueraded as a sales pitch).
I walked out, shaken, and called a male friend who drove to the dealership and went back in with me. The salesperson's demeanor immediately changed. My friend did the negotiating. I signed the papers and left with a new car — but I also left feeling sick and disgusted. 😩
Sadly, my experience wasn't an isolated incident — there's a reason the general perception was that buying a used car meant dealing with a sleazeball who would try to gouge you on price. The market was ripe when CarMax entered the scene with its huge inventory, money-back guarantee, and no-haggle price (which took away the sleaze). No wonder it caught on. 👏🏻
Customer experience (CX) is the impression you leave with your customers, which results in how they think of you, and ultimately creates loyalty. It involves knowing exactly what your customers are looking for and then working hard to provide it.
FYI, pictured above is a Jaguar parked in London, exactly like not even remotely similar to Susan's car (or mine). But when we open our London office, you'll be the first to know. 😉
And here's the point.
Customer experience really matters whether you're selling used cars (CarMax) or websites and admin services (Jan & Susan). We work with clients in a variety of businesses — coaching, landscape design, nonprofit, luxury car upgrades, fine art, business consulting, retail, ecommerce, and others — all of whom are trying to improve how they serve their own clients.
Here are a few questions to ask related to your customers' experience:
- What promise(s) do you make? If you don't make promises, why not? If you do make promises, how well do you keep them?
- What are the pain points or issues in your current customers' experience? Do they ask the same questions or express the same frustrations repeatedly? If so, what changes can you implement to make it easier?
- How do you measure your customers' experience? Do you take a "no-news-is-good-news" approach and assume everything is fine if no one complains? Or do you actively ask for (and listen to) feedback?
- Is your website current, updated, and easy to navigate? Do you check website analytics regularly to measure the experience of online customers? Do you use statistics like page views, conversion, sales, and bounce rate to gain insight and get a clear picture of your visitors and their behavior?
Great Customer Experience Quotes
“If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitor will.”
– Bob Hooey
“Great customer service doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means that the customer is always honored.”
— Chris LoCurto
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
— Walt Disney
The Power of Moments
Chip Heath & Dan Heath
While human lives are endlessly variable, our most memorable positive moments are dominated by four elements: elevation, insight, pride, and connection. If we embrace these elements, we can conjure more moments that matter. What if a teacher could design a lesson that he knew his students would remember twenty years later? What if a manager knew how to create an experience that would delight customers?
This book delves into some fascinating mysteries of experience: Why we tend to remember the best or worst moment of an experience, as well as the last moment, and forget the rest.
More is More
The phrase "less is more" may be true about many things, but it's not true when it comes to customer experience. Companies that want to stay relevant must apply more energy, focus, and resources to creating knock-your-socks-off customer experiences than they ever did before. The companies that embrace a "more is more" philosophy work harder and go further to ensure that their customers have a positive experience. More Is More provides practical advice for building or improving customer experience that you can apply immediately at your own organization.