Super Customer Experience: What Do We Want Them to Feel?

After a recent webinar I delivered on turning difficult moments into positive customer experiences (via Zendesk), this question came via email and ultimately inspired this post.

How do you stay positive when you know the customer is taking advantage of your company?

Super Customer Experience: What Do We Want Customers to Feel? Image by:JoelMontes

Image by:JoelMontes via Creative Commons License.

In this case, the customer service rep was referring to hotel guests. He was not suggesting that he knew of customers stealing from the hotel — just taking advantage. Certainly when customer service reps (CSRs) or agents have data showing the customer is doing something illegal or harming the company financially, it is important for them to bring it to the attention of management.

Otherwise we must ask the question: what does taking advantage mean?

  • Always asking for non-standard options and treatment?
  • Pointing out where service has failed and receiving remedies?
  • Expecting, requesting, and receiving personalized service?

In truth, this was the third time a customer service rep (agent) had asked me what to do when customers take advantage. It is very often a sign that leaders have trained the teams well in standard operational procedures and specific exceptions yet never focused deeply on the critical mindset for super customer experience. This standard focus is risky.

To the customers, it is never about being treated in a standard fashion. It is about being treated the way they want to be treated. It is about the super customer experience mindset — satisfy customers to their individual satisfaction!

Hotels like Ritz-Carlton have embraced this and translated it into the $2000 rule culture that every employee understands. Now chains like Hampton Inn have a similar mindset with a 100% satisfaction guarantee (or the customer doesn’t pay).

Only when customer service teams understand the super customer experience mindset, can they see customers high expectations and demands as the pathway to profit instead of demoralizing moments with crafty people taking advantage of the company.

To develop this critical mindset in customer service teams, the key question to ask them is:

What Do We Want Customers to Feel and Experience With Us?

Would your teams come up with answers like:

  • Understood
  • Valued
  • Trusted and respected
  • Cared for
  • Uplifted
  • Adored
  • Protected
  • Pampered
  • Ecstatic
  • Excited and wowed
  • Tooled, supported, and successful
  • Productive and contributing (especially for internal customer service)
  • Relaxed
  • Trusting
  • Encouraged to ask for new services
  • Or ________________?

Ask the teams. If you want to develop a super customer experience culture, this is the key question. Compile a customized list that is specific to your company and then translate it into every aspect of customer interaction. (If you are going to outsource your customer care, make sure the provider can deliver on it!)

This key question must precede the popular practice of customer journey mapping. Else what are you mapping?

Openly discuss what you want the customer to feel and experience and make sure procedures promote it and metrics don’t limit it. Don’t assume team members know they are supposed to wow the customer.

The companies I have helped in this regard now experience greater employee engagement that wows the customer. It is the pathway to profiting from the customer experience.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related post: Do You WOW Customers With Every Exception for Exceptional Customer Experience?

©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

8 Responses to “Super Customer Experience: What Do We Want Them to Feel?”

  1. Shep Hyken says:

    Hi Kate – As always, I enjoy your posts. One word I would add to the list is confidence. If you do all that is on your list, you will create customer confidence. See you on the next Tweetchat!

  2. Melissa Kovacevic says:

    Great points Kate! So many companies talk “great service” to customers but fail to communicate and define with their front line service teams what that means. Some refuse to empower employees to go above and beyond when needed. Always enjoy your insight

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Melissa, I think you and I as professionals in this industry will forever scratch our heads as to how leaders can “not empower” front line employees. Seems so contrary to common sense.

      Thanks for your add on this post!

  3. Margaret says:

    When customers trust their needs will be met through experiences, they can’t help but come back again and again. Great insights!

  4. One simple sentence jumped out at me – “The standard focus is risky.” And it is. While standard operational procedures are important, truncating employees training there leaves no room for customer personalization. When I train clients on customer interaction, the biggest challenge I see is in their employees’ inability to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and see things from the customer’s perspective. Customers don’t see themselves as “standard operating procedures.” They see themselves as individuals with personalized needs. When service providers ask themselves, “What do we want the customer to feel,” it pushes the employee’s mind into the realm of “what’s really important to this particular customer.” Customers come in all varieties and some will ask for and expect more than others. Is that really taking advantage or is it merely asking for a more personalized experience? Awesome post!

    Bill Leinweber
    Landmark Experience

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Bill. You are so right when you say that customers don’t see themselves as standard operating procedures! Maybe we should turn that into a bumper sticker. 🙂

      Always grateful for your contributions here.


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