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Customer Experience is about the overall relationship that a customer has with your organization.

Train to Provide a 'Customer Experience'

June 14, 2023
'Customer Experience' is about the overall relationship that a customer has with your organization.

Service and installation companies today are increasingly embracing a new capability called Customer Experience (often referred to as CX) as a way to grow their businesses. Here are just a few statistics from recent studies that show the impact on business for companies that have adopted Customer Experience strategies:

  • More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer  are reporting an increase in revenue
  • Customers that rate companies with a high customer experience score (i.e. 10/10) spend 140% more and remain loyal for up to 6 years
  • Customers will spend 17% more for a good customer experience.
  • Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that aren’t.

It’s a no-brainer that companies that provide good customer service will do better than those that don’t. But Customer Experience goes beyond simply providing good service. In fact, providing good service has become a basic expectation for customers. Contracting businesses that don’t consistently provide good service will certainly lose business as a result. However, service suppliers won’t necessarily win new business based on their reputation for good customer service. Instead, suppliers need to delight customers by creating a positive, memorable customer experience.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience is a competitive differentiator that enables suppliers to maintain strong customer loyalty, win new business through positive brand recognition and avoid having to cut prices to close deals.

Customer Experience is a competitive differentiator that enables suppliers to maintain strong customer loyalty, win new business through positive brand recognition and avoid having to cut prices to close deals.

Customer Experience is about the overall relationship that a customer has with your organization, built on the sum of all your interactions with that customer and including an awareness by the customer that you are committed to understanding and focusing on all their needs.

From 'Customer Service' to Positive 'Customer Experience'

Moving from providing good customer service to creating an outstanding and memorable customer experience usually requires a shift in organizational culture and operations. To get started there are two fundamental areas to focus on.

Perhaps most important for establishing a positive, memorable customer experience is to create consistent customer-focused interactions with every point of contact that customers have with your organization, especially the ones between customers and front-line employees. How often, for example do customers experience a salesperson who is helpful and open to discussing alternative solutions with your customer during the ‘selling’ phase, whereas the installers seem interested only in getting in and out of the job as quickly as possible? Or a scheduler who fails to return the customer’s phone calls when they need to change an appointment?

In many cases, the technical elements of an installation or service are delivered flawlessly. However, the experience of dealing with something as simple as your invoicing process or arranging a follow-up service call will be so painful that the customer will remember the negative experiences more than the positive one.

The second fundamental requirement for a positive and memorable customer experience is that interactions with your company must not only satisfy your customers, but they must also ‘delight’ them! Delighting the customer means doing something unexpected, a surprise that helps the customer and makes them feel special. For example, one equipment supplier we know was aware of all of the potential problems that could come up in a complex installation, not only with their own equipment but with other installation suppliers. They delighted their customers by proactively sharing their special knowledge of all aspects of an installation, which ensured that the customer could achieve their goal of on-time start-up of the entire manufacturing line.

Front-line Training

of the most powerful ways to kick off a face-to-face customer service strategy is by investing in training for your customer-facing people, from sales to technical service and installation to after sales service, to adopt new thinking and behaviors in three ways:

Being proactive. Instead of simply reacting to customer requests efficiently (which is good customer service) customer experience-oriented employees anticipate problems, questions and requests that customers might have and then proactively offer solutions to them. This requires your people to understand what the customer is trying to achieve or what problem the customer is trying to solve. It also requires your people to think about and propose solutions that the customer may not have thought of.

Understanding and responding to all the customer’s needs. Often your customer has issues that they don’t reveal but are essential to addressing their overall problem. Perhaps, for example the breakdown of your equipment was caused by the customer himself. Being able to draw out these hidden issues and needs without causing the customer to be evasive or defensive is a critical customer communication skill.

Companies that have developed customer experience capabilities have realized significant, sustainable benefits in revenue growth, market share and profitability.

Creating balanced outcomes. Customers often make unreasonable and even impossible demands. Homeowners in particular simply don’t realize that their request is unreasonable or even impossible. Rather than simply pushing back and sounding unhelpful or giving in to such requests and creating problems for your own company, your frontline people need to be able offer solutions to customers that balance the customer’s real needs with your company’s capabilities and requirements (including profit margins, by the way).

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, companies that have developed customer experience capabilities have realized significant, sustainable benefits in revenue growth, market share and profitability. In addition, by investing in the development of their front-line people they have improved employee satisfaction and loyalty.

The question you should ask, therefore is: What are the benefits for my company from moving beyond simply providing good customer service to creating an outstanding experience for my customers – every time?

Paul Hesselschwerdt is the Partner Emeritus of Global Partners Training, a global firm specializing in training and consulting for installation and field service companies. For additional insights, please visit https://globalpartnerstraining.com/training/total-customer-focus/.

About the Author

Paul Hesselschwerdt | Partner Emeritus

Paul Hesselschwerdt is the Partner Emeritus of Global Partners Training, a global firm specializing in training and consulting for installation and field service companies.