Going the extra mile

Yesterday afternoon I ran a customer experience workshop. In the second segment we broke the Customer Journey down into four phases – before, beginning, during & after, and looked in detail at what happens at each stage.

Most businesses focus on the sale and then getting the service delivered, then move on to the next sale. They don’t understand that a service is much more complicated than that. Instead, they focus on following the processes laid down. We heard some crazy stories yesterday about phone companies and delivery businesses and how they were making life miserable for customers. Why don’t people get that this is important?

We talked about the way the market views an industry – as customers, we make assumptions of how your company will behave based on our past experiences, stories we’ve heard, the emotional baggage that we bring. Very few companies realise this, so they don’t do anything about it. However, for those that do, and B&Q were an example that several people shared yesterday, then the rewards can be huge.

I remember B&Q as being a typical builders merchants, however it seems that in the past decade they’ve transformed. I remember them embracing the older worker and it seems that this has been a big win for them. They’ve hired people with life experience, helpful people who care and who want to help others. They also run classes, not just for adults, but for kids too.

When you think about it, that’s a genius move. They’ve differentiated themselves from other builders merchants. I now want to go into one of their stores and have a wander around.

We also spoke about how several of the motor franchises now have a very slick customer experience. I saw this first-hand on Friday when my car was in at John Clark Mini for its service. Whilst the process might be laid down by the manufacturer, the people on the front line still have to deliver it. Each time my car has been in to the Mini garage it’s been the same friendly, helpful experience. They make it easy for me, and that builds loyalty.

Which businesses have you dealt with that have gone the extra mile? That make a conscious effort to look after you throughout the service and beyond?

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