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The Customer Experience Revisited

Recently I had 3 conversations with a cab driver, a plumber and a CEO. Each conversation revolved around the customer experience. I want to share with you the gist of each conversation.

The Cab Driver: I actually had 3 cabbie’s but it was the 3rd one who had really understood the customer experience. Look I get it, if you take enough cabs, you’re going to get the gamut of drivers, but I think it’s interesting to see how some know how to engage the customer and how others could care less. I’m just a fare. It’s those that “get it” who will make more. I actually had the cab driver who explained to me how he reads the customer to see how he should “deal” with the customer. His goal? Not only to engage, but to provide a positive experience that could result in repeat business as well as referrals and a higher tip. Insights from a cab driver.

The Plumber: Let me preface this vignette by saying that “The Plumber” is a very good friend of mine. But the conversation I had with him was as much enlightening as it was a relative fact with all SMB’s. They not only have to do what they are good at but they also have to manage their people and manage their business. However what really opened my eyes was when he told me what was the key to growing his business. Was it more people? More trucks? More resources? Better technology? Nope. He told me it revolves around word-Compassion. Compassion for the customer and walking in their shoes. Good stuff coming from-A Plumber who get’s it.

The CEO-I had about as bad an experience as could be had at a local restaurant. I was so mad that I blogged about it. Of course I used the company name with a map and hyper links because I was so angry but never really expected to hear from anyone within the organization. I even sent an email to the GM of the local franchise but still, I never expected to hear from anyone I just figured it was another FAIL.

About a month or so after the blog post I received an email from the CEO of the entire company expressing regret and essentially saying that I was right, they were wrong and what can he do to make the situation right. He even offered to take me to lunch to prove that his restaurants do get it right when it comes to customer service. He didn’t have to do any of that did he? He’s the CEO-He could have had his area managers handle it, someone in customer service, or basically half a dozen others, but he chose to handle it himself. A CEO.

So what’s the story? It’s not social media. It’s about the customer. It’s always been about the customer. But ironically, it doesn’t matter what your business is, what your job is, if you understand that in whatever you do, the customer experience is priority one. You’re ability to win, to succeed, and to do great work will always be achievable.

Out of the three, who get’s it the most? How would you rank their approaches? I love the cab drivers approach. The Plumber understands what and who is driving the business and the CEO? I’m just one customer but he still took the time to reach out. This doesn’t mean that each will succeed in the end, but it does mean that in some instances, they can impart that wisdom on to others within their respective businesses.

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5 Responses to “The Customer Experience Revisited”


  1. 1 Todd Murphy November 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    In a world where most business parameters are a commodity, the only true point we can differentiate ourselves on is the “customer experience”. Customer service is the last business parameter that can lead you to that Blue Ocean Strategy, out of the bloody waters of competition. We focus on Brand Promise: We guarantee you will have a fantastic experience when using Universal Information Services! It’s that simple. Of course then you have to have a corporate rhythm that focuses on the experience. Right down to our website, you’ll see how important the “experience” is to us.

  2. 2 Natalie Regoli November 9, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    I am a firm believer in capturing engaging customers who have had a bad experience with a clients product or service. If handled correctly, you can turn the complainer into an evangelist.

  3. 3 marc meyer November 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    @Natalie, I love that approach Natalie, it’s a fight, but if you win it, you have a customer for life!

  4. 5 Gabriele Maidecchi November 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    The best customer experiences I had, both as a customer and entrepreneur/manager, are those where, everything if the service/product delivery goes wrong, the experience is perceived as positive by the customer ’cause of how the situation is dealt with.
    The best customer manager can right the worst of wrongs.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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