Service already great? Then improve their happiness.

Customer Experience (CX) is often mistaken as customer service. The easiest way to explain the difference is: Customer Service creates a Customer Experience.

  • Customer Service is the human, digital and physical interactions pre-through-post-sale. How easy was the sale? How quickly did you help the customer?
  • Customer Experience is the emotions triggered by those interactions and every other “touch-point” with your company. Loyalty, trust, caring are examples of emotions.

A touch-point is every point-of-contact the customer makes with your company and industry and begins with their moment of need for your service. This is followed by the moment the customer becomes aware of your company. An ad, online review or referral from a friend could be positive or negative. That triggers an emotion. Other examples of touch-points: Your phone system, parking, payment methods and certainly every person in your company even if they are not customer facing. The janitor isn’t customer facing but the interaction with a dirty bathroom creates a poor customer experience.

There are three primary drivers of CX: Continue reading “Service already great? Then improve their happiness.”

10 Game Changing Survey Questions

The only way to know why your customers love or dislike you or know how to give them exactly what they want to make them happy (not what you “think” makes them happy) is to ask them.

How you ask them is crucial.

Some surveys are for marketing and sales and are important. Improving the customer experience requires questions targeting exactly that. They are designed to find out how to convert a “passive” customer into a “Promoter. A Promoter is a customer who loves doing business with you and is actively engaged in promoting you to friends and family.

Here are 10 questions to ask every one of your customers.

These are not “sales” questions asking for leads or referrals. They are to help you give the customer an even better experience and show them that you care enough to do so.

Give them an outstanding experience and you won’t have to ask them for referrals or leads. They will come just come to you.

Use some or all and tailor them to fit your company.

1) How did you hear about us? A friend?

This seems like a marketing question but what you’re measuring  is whether or not  a friend referred them. Relates to NPS score

2) What problem does our [service/product/program] solve for you or help you with?

Knowing which problem your product is solving for your customers can help shape your marketing message.

3) What do you like most and what do you like least about our [service/product/program]?

Take a cue from your customer feedback and re-align marketing to promote the features they value most.

4) What’s the one thing we should never stop doing?

Find out what your customers really value about you and your company.

5) What made you choose us over [the other /my competitors]

Discovering a product or service “differentiator” is a competitive intelligence that can pay huge dividends.

6) What do [the other /my competitors] do better than what we do?

Your customers can give you insights about your competitors’ strengths to further differentiate yourself

7) What’s the most recent example of how we have exceeded your expectations or not met your expectations?

Inc. Magazine suggests that instead of just asking your customers how satisfied they are with you, make the questions specific and over a recent time frame so that their feedback will generate actionable information.

8) What one thing could we do/change that would make you love us? Being FREE is not an option 🙂

9) Do you have any questions/recommendations for us?

If you get even one response, that could mean that other customers may have the same thoughts but not voicing it.   Address it with your customers if possible because absence of feedback is inaccurate.

10) The one MANDATORY QUESTION: How likely would you recommend us to your friends and family on a scale from one to ten. Ten being the most likely.

This is your Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) question to gauge if they are “engaged” customers that promote you. Nines and tens are engaged customers. Six and under are potential viral threats.

Plan to use this data to improve your customer’s experience and address any issues that come to light. If you don’t plan to make any changes, it will annoy customers that you wasted their time.

Here some stats to motivate you to make talking to your customers a daily operation:

  • Loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as the value of their 1st purchase
  • The likelihood of converting an existing customer into a repeat customer is 60-70%
  • Increasing customer retention by just 5% could increase profits 25-95%
  • It costs 7x less to retain customers than acquire new ones

If you need help with talking to your customers, we can help. We love talking to customers and helping you improve their experience. And that makes you more money.

– Please read my other posts for ways to help improve your company’s customer experience and share it if you’ve found it helpful.


About the Author

Gerry Criscenzo, founder of Advanced Service Knowledge is passionate about delivering an exceptional customer experience.  He has over 30 years experience managing customer facing teams in very demanding customer service  industries such as automotive services, IT Services and Home Remodeling/Contractor Services. Gerry is available for consulting, keynote speaking and training.  Read more

Customer Experience Strategies, How and Why

Question: When should the Titanic have started turning to avoid sinking?

Much sooner.

The Titanic was too big to turn quickly and the same applies to companies as they grow larger. Changes become slower, harder, more costly, timing consuming and disruptive when policies and procedures need to change.

Adopting a customer experience strategy, preferably at start-up as part of your business plan is essential to building and maintaining a customer focused culture. Its impossible to deliver an exceptional customer experience without a customer driven culture.

The larger the company grows without a formal or stalled CX Strategy , the more effort, time,  and money it takes to reverse the mindset of employees  and the profit killing effects of bad customer experiences. Continue reading “Customer Experience Strategies, How and Why”

Why Vendor Management is Crucial to Your Customer Experience


What happens if you can’t get the materials you need, from an exclusive supplier,  to build your widget because you’re way past due?

They may help you if you have a good relationship with them.

Simply put, realizing the role that your vendors play in the product or service that you offer to your customers is critical and can directly affect the customer experience and your company’s success. Selecting vendors and developing strong, long-term relationships will vary for different types of vendors and businesses but regardless requires many considerations.

Below I’ve outlined some key considerations in identifying key vendors and the benefits of building solid relationships. Continue reading “Why Vendor Management is Crucial to Your Customer Experience”