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The Customer Experience - What Makes it Over the Top?

I recently had the pleasure of purchasing a new car. I had been watching and researching for a while, but not quite certain what I wanted to get. It just so happened that simultaneously my 16 year old daughter started driving so I needed to purchase something used for her as well. Knowing what I wanted to purchase for her, I kept my eye out and found the car at a local dealership. It was one of those “no-haggle” deals and within two hours of the test drive, we had sealed the deal. My customer experience for purchasing that vehicle was very positive, though not over the top.

However, during the process, the salesman had dropped a few hints about some new cars on the lot and he was very personable and went out of his way to acclimate my daughter to her new car and follow up in the few weeks after. So, I called him the following week and told him exactly the car I wanted and the price I was willing to pay. He proceeded to make my customer experience the absolute BEST I have had in the history of purchasing a new vehicle. The question boils down to WHY? It was all in the details. It was not just the price or the timing or the person. Here is what made me believe it was over the top.

Attentiveness. Nick (the sales person) never stopped responding to emails or calls in a quick and informational manner. Every question I posed, every change I wanted, he accommodated without forward facing frustration.

Consideration. My time, my schedule, and what I needed was more important to him than seemingly making the deal. In fact, when I told him I did not have time to drive my car over to sit and wait for the appraisal, he drove to my office himself (30 minutes away), took the car for the appraisal, and delivered it back exactly three minutes before I had to leave for my next appointment.

Delight, or maybe better phrased: Personalized Experience. Every step of the way it was about what would satisfy me.

He went out of his way to find exactly the car I wanted, and had everything ready when I arrived at the dealership to sign the papers and drive away with the car. That final experience took a bit longer than in wanted, but my perception of the overall process was over the top. I would go there again, and recommend him to anyone.

As I look at this entire process and apply it to my own business, I have to question my clients and my team. As with any business, we have values that we strive to maintain, and I want them to all have that customer experience that delights them. That might be stretching it when referring to delivering outsourced accounting services, but it got me to thinking, what can we do better to deliver a top of the line customer experience?

No matter what business you are in, it’s important to ask yourself this question. Whether you are a QSR trying to compete in the current delivery wars, a new car sales person, or the deliverer of outsourced accounting services like myself, improving customer experience is now more important than ever. The objective? Consistently exceeding the needs and expectations of your customers so they become vocal advocates of what you provide.