Why Customer Experience Means Everything

Customer experience
© Copyright Roy Tait and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Over the past couple of weeks, it’s been holiday time; half-term holidays.

It’s been a time for family, time for playing with the kids, visiting interesting places and generally having some fun.

It’s also been a chance to go out and enjoy some delicious food and check out the customer experience.

I love many different types of food. I particularly like Italian food and I’m also quite partial to burgers every now and again.

During this holiday, it’s great that we had the chance to visit a couple of restaurants here in Edinburgh that do both.

Proper New York Italian Restaurant and Bars no less! How authentic they were though, I have no idea.

Lunch One – How not to do things

Lunch with my parents, me, my wife and the two kids. My daughter was tired, never a good start to proceedings.

We were shown to our table which we had pre-booked. Very interesting setting too, over-looking the harbour and out over the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife.

The restaurant was busy but not manic. We had asked for lunch menus but were given breakfast menus. The waiter seemed a little pre-occupied, almost hassled.

After we were seated it took 20 minutes for him to approach us. So that’s drinks sorted and menus changed.  Another 20 minutes went by.

The couple on the table next to us get up and walk out. They only arrived five minutes after us and decide they have waited long enough.

Finally the drinks arrive and we order the food.  My son is really looking forward to some pizza.

Another twenty minutes and the food arrived for the adults. Why do they do that? I really don’t understand why restaurants do that.

They need to bring the kid’s food first. They’re impatient, starting to fidget. Another five minutes and finally we all have our food.

By the time we’ve all finished, the waiter’s not been anywhere near us since he gave us the food.

It’s really not worth waiting around to get another course or coffee.  Definitely not going to leave a tip.

Another 10 minutes go by, we decide to pay at the bar and then leave quite dissatisfied with the service and the experience.

Lunch Two – A lesson in the customer experience

Different location, same chain of restaurants.  Not quite the same view as the other restaurant.  Just me, my wife and kids this time.

The restaurant is very busy.

We’re shown to our table and immediately a friendly waitress comes over and introduces herself.

She makes us feel welcome, chats with the kids and asks what we’d like to drink.

When she comes back with the drinks a few minutes later, she brings crayons and a colouring book.

Are we ready to order?  Oh Yes, most definitely.

We order, the waitress offers some extra vegetables for free with the food and then we wait.

The food arrives in what seems like only a couple of minutes. I really don’t remember how long it did take.

And, the food arrived all at the same time. No waiting for the kids food. Spot on.

We ordered ice cream for the kids, my wife and I had coffee and because we were so pleased with the service we left a generous tip.

The service was excellent. The kids even got a balloon to take away with them.

My son lost his on the way to the car but the restaurant gave us another one. Perfect.

Customer Experience Matters

Two different restaurants owned by the same company yet we had a completely different experience in both.

I know which lunch I enjoyed the most! Can you guess?

The staff left me feeling welcome and I want to visit again. They were friendly, helpful and attentive.  The complete opposite of the other restaurant.

Sometimes the small details can make the an experience so much more fulfilling.

Customers remember good service and great products but it’s equally important that the first point of contact goes well.

Being welcoming, friendly, helpful and prompt defines a reputation and potential future business.

And gaining loyalty and a following is about reaching out and making a connection.

I find this to be equally true in building a blog. You need to:

  • provide a first-rate service to your readers by giving them quality content;
  • engage with your readers by encouraging comments and responding to them;
  • reach out and help with any questions your readers may have;
  • reach out to other bloggers to create a community on your blog.

Now I’d like to open this up to discussion and look forward to receiving any comments you may have.

Do you place any importance on customer experience? Is it relevant to building your blog? How do you handle a negative experience?

P.S. I would be grateful if you could please share this post on all of your favourite networks. Many thanks for reading.

Opt In Image
Did You Enjoy This Post?
Then don't leave without subscribing to my blog

Subscribe for future posts and get them sent directly to your inbox - it's totally free...

Enter your name and best email address below and hit the yellow button!

Enjoy this post? Share your thoughts below:

50 Comments on "Why Customer Experience Means Everything"


Donna Merrill
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Tim,

What a great way to illustrate customer experience! I think we have all experienced similar situations. It is so great to keep that mindset when we are offering something to our customers.
They are our life blood. We need to give more to them than anything.

In my consulting business, people are always shocked when I spend extra time with them and not charge them for it. I will even make follow-up calls or messages if I know someone is having a problem. This has been the backbone of my business for years. It became a word-of-mouth internationally.

Donna

2 years 5 months ago

Hey Donna

It sounds like you really know how to value a customer and that is after all what they want.

And word-of-mouth recognition, I feel, is one of the most powerful to grow your reputation and business.

I can see how passionate you are about your consulting business Donna from reading your blog. It’s a real lesson in customer experience for everyone.

Many thanks for your comments as ever Donna and I hope you have a great weekend.

Tim

Joe Boyle
2 years 5 months ago

I’ve noticed this recent trend where webmasters are creating dozens upon dozens of niche sites in a machine-like order, and then wonder why they don’t convert. There’s a reason for that – much like your first waiter, they aren’t there to help the consumer! If the webmaster could focus on each and every customer/reader/visitor on the same level that your second waitress did, perhaps they’d be more successful.

I believe in the strong idea that, for the most part, outsourcing things will never work on the internet. Sure, there are a few exceptions to this rule of mine – the biggest are Virtual Assistants and such – but only people who aren’t actually communicating with people. I take great pride in providing the greatest service possible to my readers and clients, and that is a value that I’ll never let go. I would hate to be on the receiving end of a really bad service, and thus I try to make mine the best that I possibly can.

Great post, Tim!

2 years 5 months ago

Hi Joe

Welcome to my blog. It’s great to see you here.

That’s a great ethic to have Joe – taking pride in providing a great service. If things do go wrong though, any feedback you get is useful as a learning tool and will only improve your service further I’m sure.

I think in terms of niche sites, if there’s no quality there, Google will just slap them down. Whilst creating them in a machine-like order a few years ago may have converted well, that just isn’t the case any more. Poor quality content just isn’t going to get people anywhere these days.

Thank you for your comments Joe and I’ll be sure to check out your blog in the next couple of days.

Have a great week.

Tim

Mark
2 years 5 months ago

I grew up around my parents hospitality/ services businesses.

“The customer is always right” was what my parents built their businesses on.

There’s a few customers that need to be thrown out on their butts; but these are worst kind of human being that nobody likes anyways… LOL! (I’m just kidding)

Cheers mate!

2 years 5 months ago

Hey Mark

Sounds like you had a great grounding and upbringing Mark. Whereabouts in the US did you grow up?

Some customers can be tricky and maybe not always right, but any feedback whether good or bad is something we can all learn from.

Thank you for coming along to my place. I was glad to see you.

Have a great week Mark.

Tim

Mark
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Tim – I grew up in Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada.

I never got used to things closing down after dark after growing up in Vegas, haha!

I just didn’t like the direction things were going years ago in the states.

Many of my friends thought I was crazy with my predictions of what the future held… They are now living it :o

The numbers didn’t add up and it wasn’t like you couldn’t figure that out if you did some simple research.

There were many warnings of the situation the U.S. finds itself in today… Nobody wanted to listen to the crazies : )

Anyhow, happy to be in paradise enjoying the family and working on building an online business, which I think you know is a new goal of mine : )

I’m stoked to be connected with you, Tim – lets make some chit happen – cheers!

2 years 5 months ago

Hey Mark

I grew up on a farm in England in the middle of nowhere!

Sounds like if there were more crazies out there then the whole world would have benefited and still can.

I can’t see things getting too much better financially in the short term here in the UK.

The banking crisis really didn’t help matters! I’m glad we never went down the Euro route though.

Definitely great to be connected with you Mark.

It must be great living in paradise :-).

Have a great weekend.

Tim

Sergio Felix
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Tim, I guess customer service represents a LOT in every type of business and I have the perfect example for this…

There’s a mini market franchise in Mexico called “Oxxo”, those are all over my city and the idea is to make them function the same way including prompt, helpful service.

There’s one of these stores really near my girlfriend’s house and whenever I feel like getting a beer, I normally go there but there’s one female employee there that every single time she sees me coming, she tries to make my life impossible.

If I say “thanks” she doesn’t says anything back, if I ask if there’s a current beer promotion she rolls her eyes like she is doing me a favor, it’s just unbelievable and recently, even the old sir that helps with the packaging in exchange for tips, gives me hard stares.

I honestly can’t stand going into that place and I rather go to the actual super market (which is in front) and spend a lot more time going to pick up the beers and everything but at least, not going freaking crazy mad because some person really dislikes me.

Now I only go to the mini store when I’m on a hurry and I can’t make it to the super market, it’s insane but oh well.

I would never do something like treating my customers bad and that obviously goes all the way to my own blogs.

I even care about customer experience so much I just set up a specific place for receiving customer tickets… now I hope I can configure the site properly though lol now that’s another challenge on its own! ;-)

Sergio

2 years 5 months ago

Hey Sergio

Needs must when it comes to beer mate but that lady sure doesn’t make it easy for you to buy it!

Whenever I am confronted with that kind of situation I usually just smile and be as nice and friendly as I can. Inside though I’m wondering why I bother!

I can see how much value you bring to people with your blog Sergio and the wonderful videos you have on there.

I’m in awe of them and still haven’t taken the plunge myself yet. Bad me!

That’s a great professional approach as well, setting up a specific place for receiving customer tickets.

It should help to keep everything organised in one place as well.

Now I’m thinking about beer…

Tim

Chimezirim Odimba
2 years 5 months ago

It is important that we all remember how we feel when we go to places that have poor customer service and also remember how we feel (in comparison) when we go to places that have great customer service. Doing this will help us know things to avoid and things to implement in our various businesses.

2 years 5 months ago

Hi Chimezirim

Thank you for visiting my blog. It’s great to see you here.

I completely agree with you. We can learn a lot from poor customer service as much as we can from great customer service.

In hindsight, we should have given the first restaurant feedback so they could have also learnt from it.

Some people were voting with their feet so I’m sure they got the message in any case.

Thank you for your comments Chimezirim and I hope to see you again soon.

Tim