Customer Service vs. Customer Experience: have a hospitality mindset Other Cool & Meaningful Topics Project Management

We at Launch Leadership Development believe no matter what your industry, attention to customer needs should be high on your priority list because we are now a service economy. Today I’d like to expand that thought by taking a closer look at these ideas:

  • Why great customer experience matters
  • Customer service vs. Customer experience
  • How to have a hospitality mindset

Great customer experience is critical for your business. Making a great product and serving efficiently is no longer enough. Consider these numbers from Temkin Group customer experience research:

  • 39% of customers decrease spending with a company after one bad experience
  • 17% quit the company altogether
  • 53% will tell others of their bad experience verbally
  • 21% will let others know through Facebook
  • 14% will let others know through review sites
  • 10% will let others know through Twitter
  • If the customer has a great customer experience, they are:

9x as likely to recommend the company

8x as likely to trust the company

7x as likely to forgive a bad experience

7x as likely to try new offerings and buy again from the company

You want happy and loyal customers, my friend!

Customer service vs. customer experience: there is a difference!

Customer service:

  • Utilizes employees or tools to help resolve issues
  • Polite, perhaps even empathetic, professional demeanor
  • Meets needs quickly and satisfactorily
  • Is reactive:  problem? fix it

Customer experience:

  • Is all about how the customer FEELS about the interaction with your company
  • Significantly drives customer loyalty
  • Is unique to each customer and takes more effort
  • Is proactive thinking ahead

A hospitality mindset is a secret power to a great customer experience. When you think in hospitality terms, you are thinking about being truly present with your customer and noticing how they feel. Hospitality is all about making a person feel relaxed, welcome, appreciated, and special. Here are some hints for practicing hospitality to give your customers a great experience:

  • Give the customer a memory if you can
  • Give more than they could ever expect – surprise them!
  • Look and listen carefully for opportunities- ask questions
  • It doesn’t have to cost anything
  • Make it a part of your team culture so everyone has the creative autonomy to be a part of the experience and are proactively looking for opportunities
  • Focus on developing your team first then they will take care of the customers

In the video link below, Will Guidara, a restaurant owner in New York City, tells the story of an incident that turned his outlook on customer service around. As he walked among the tables, a group told him they were leaving NY after this meal and had a great time, but regretted the one thing they didn’t experience was a New York hot dog.  His high-end restaurant did not serve hot dogs, but he suddenly had the idea to run down the street to a hot dog stand and buy a hot dog for them. It took a lot of convincing for his chef to serve it, but he finally relented, and the customers were blown away. They said they will never forget this gesture. He says he wouldn’t have got that kind of reaction if he had comped them with a nice bottle of wine. Now he and his team have fun looking for opportunities to provide unique customer experiences.

Taking customer service to the next level will not only benefit your company, but it can make the whole team feel empowered and happier, because making other people happy just feels good!

-Jan Jones

Check out these videos for inspiration!