Business Cents: the customer experience defined
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – In the last episode of the current series of Business Cents, Albert Marrache and I offer our definition of the customer experience. Because it is not only something that can be defined, it can be managed. Furthermore, it is in the effective management of that experience where profit can be found and grown.
“Here’s what I think,” begins Albert Marrache, president and founder of Phoenix AMD International. “Everybody talks about an experience, but you can’t have an experience unless you can control it. The whole thing about creating an experience is you have to know what it is – you have to define it.”
The journey to defining and creating the customer experience begins when the independent store owner asks himself a simple question: “What is the experience that you want the customer to have? Does it start when the customer walks into your store? Does it start when your salesperson is talking to them?”
Why asked how he defines the customer experience, Albert has a short, succinct reply: “It’s everything.”
And that is why, he adamantly maintains, creating the experience cannot be left to individuals – wherever they work in the operation, including the sales floor – to decide. Store owners and senior managers need to create the experience they want to provide the customer.
“When the customer drives into your driveway what do you want them to see? What happens when they open the door? How do they get greeted? Do you give them coffee? Do you have a plan of the store? How did you lay out your furniture? he asks.
The experience touches everything, from how the salesperson greets the customer to how he or she writes the invoice. It even touches on how the salesperson says goodbye to the customer and how her purchase is delivered and installed in her home. “There are so many steps,” Albert points out.
This means all these steps have to be documented. Then every member of the team has be trained to deliver them. And that training has be consistent and continuous. It also has to be updated to meet changing demands and circumstances.
“There are so many ways of creating great experiences if you really follow through,” Albert maintains and that’s the essence of this final episode of Business Cents.
Start with Why
As has often been the case during this series, the first 25 readers who respond to our conversation with a question or comment will receive something from Albert’s library. For this episode, we are offering copies of Start with Why by Simon Sinek, a author who has been described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect” who has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people wake up every single morning inspired, feel safe wherever they are and end the day fulfilled by the work that they do.
He may be best known for popularizing the concept of WHY, which he described in his first TED Talk in 2009. That talk went on to become the second most watched TED Talk of all time and it is still in the top five with over 50 million views. His interview on millennials in the workplace broke the internet in 2016. With over 80 million views in its first week, it has now been viewed hundreds of millions of times. This led to Sinek being YouTube’s fifth most searched term in 2017.
His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention. From the airline industry to the entertainment industry, from finance to fashion, from big business to entrepreneurs, Sinek has been invited to meet with leaders and organizations in nearly every industry. He is an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world.