Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The customer-driven market grows stronger every day, propelled by relentless disruption and change. Those who thrive in this market deliver exceptional customer experiences, synced with their product or service, and based on their awareness of customer goals, as well as needs. 

Such experiences build enduring relationships which subsequently provide awareness about trends, changing customer demands, feedback on strategy, and innovation opportunities – all valuable inputs for decision-making and value creation. 

Your company’s customer-service personnel, serving as your front-line relationship reps, are a key ingredient in delivering exceptional experiences. They should be doing more than answering the phone and helping with orders. A committed customer experience team strengthens relationships when empowered to listen more than talk, demonstrate empathy, and provide insight that helps the customer succeed. Such demonstrations of appreciation and respect delight customers and validate why they chose your company. 

Creating the exceptional experience relies on leadership’s commitment to invest in the people, competencies and resources necessary to execute the strategy – a strategy which ensures a preference for your products and services based on your reliable delivery of promised value. Planning the experience should be part of your product or service development process; it should not be optional. 

Failing to wrap an exceptional experience around your product or service reduces your distinctiveness and credibility in this volatile market. It lessens the value promised by your offering, increasing your competitive vulnerability. This is particularly true if your offering is exclusive, with few or no alternatives available to the customer. A customer with no choices, and no sense of your commitment to their success, will not be interested in building a relationship that endures.

How would you assess the value provided by your customer experience team?