Superior Customer Experience: Above & Beyond Question #Custserv

Superior Customer Experience: It’s Above & Beyond the Question

Superior customer experience doesn’t happen from giving the customer what they ask for; it takes shape when we give the customer what they truly want.

The customer makes a statement or asks a question to begin the conversation of what they want. Superior customer experience teams use their expertise to further define that request! Here’s a true story to illustrate.

Superior Customer Experience: Image is Telescope view from Eiffel Tower

Superior Customer Experience: Above & Beyond Question Image by: 12thSonOfLama via Flickr.

Image courtesy of 12thSonofLama via Flickr Creative Commons License.

The Story

Two of my friends were at a beautiful resort hotel in Miami Beach, FL. They had read about boat and bus tours of the city. They decided on the boat tour because it was a beautiful day. The brochure they had read noted that the bus would take them to the boat launch.

They asked the concierge to make arrangements for the boat tour and asked about the bus. The concierge looked up the times and made reservations. That was all.

They bought the ticket from the bus driver and boarded. They assumed the bus would make a few stops at other Miami Beach hotels and then go to the boat on this beautiful day.

The true punch line to this story is that they were on the bus for over an hour going to every hotel in the city. So much for a beautiful day on a boat and it was far from a superior customer experience — with the tour company and with the hotel concierge!

The concierge had simply given them what they asked for: reservation for the boat tour w/ the bus to take them there. Had the concierge gone beyond their question he could have easily facilitated a super customer experience.

Superior Customer Experience: Above & Beyond the Question

  • Use a telescopic view.

    Listen to the what the customer is requesting and then picture how that will play out. Compare what they are asking for to what will happen! When my friends said to the concierge, “We don’t want to spend this beautiful day on the bus — we want to be outside on the boat tour…”, the concierge could help create that super customer experience by suggesting options: “The bus is cheaper yet takes awhile; a cab directly to the boat would cost x amount more yet you would have more time outdoors on this beautiful day.” Which do you prefer? My friends had no idea that you could simply by a ticket to the boat. They thought the bus/boat price were connected.

  • Clarify all assumptions — especially ours.

    Restaurants often do this on their menus and during the ordering process. In some of the finest steak houses, doneness is defined with pictures and/or words. Rare is cool and red, medium rare is mostly pink w/ a bit of red etc … Customers use words that express their picture. For superior customer experience, we must ensure that we understand their picture not just their words.

  • Make it easy.

    In my 25 years of business, I have yet to meet a customer who defines super customer experience as difficult. Even customers who want elite service that not everyone can have, want it to be easy for themselves. We can deliver consistently superior customer service when we review every aspect of customer interaction — including online and self-service — to see if it’s easy for the customer! And many of these improvements are low or no cost to us.

Robotic procedures disguised as consistency do not deliver superior customer experience. Self-service disguised as customer empowerment do not automatically deliver superior customer experience. Satisfaction metrics do not create superior customer experience.

Listening to the request, telescoping what the customer is picturing, finding the gaps and clarifying assumptions with our expertise, and making it easy for the customer create a superior customer experience.

Will you share a superior customer experience story here to augment this discussion?

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

Related Posts:
Customer Experience Leaders, Are Your Metrics Too Loud For You to Hear the Customers?
Easy Customer Experience Lesson: A Tale of Two Surveys
Superior Customer Service: 21 Tips to Make it Easy for Customers

©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of 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 experience. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results. Kate also invites you to connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter. She welcomes your interaction!

3 Responses to “Superior Customer Experience: Above & Beyond Question #Custserv”

  1. Alli Polin says:

    Kate – Your story is fantastic but what really stands out as a truth is that exceptional customer service is not as difficult as it sounds. People want it to be easy to be heard and understood – both of those things lead to opportunities to WOW because far too many people still deliver only what’s asked. (and it doesn’t hurt that it was easy too!)

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Alli! I appreciate the “echo” that superior service — WOW — doesn’t have to be complex. It needs to be easy and can be if we picture what the customers words mean!

      Grateful for your comment here.

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest