August 12

Good Vs Bad Customer Experience – And How To Get It Right


I recently went into a health food store.

I must admit I haven’t visited one for quite some time. But we’re looking to reduce our processed foods and sugar intake in my house and have decided to try and do some ‘healthy’ baking…

So we went looking for some sweetner that wasn’t sugar.

Customer Experience #1

So we went into one of two health food shops in our local area to get this ‘no sugar sugar’.

I also wanted to get a frozen yogurt with honey that I remember being the best part about going to the health food shop when I was a kid.

The store had a couple of customers but wasn’t super busy.

We walked around looking lost and one of the staff members asked if we’d like a hand.

I said we were looking for a ‘no sugar sugar’.

She knew what I meant and directed us to a shelf around the corner – by pointing.

I asked for my frozen yoghurt in the mean time and we went to pick something out. I the mean time she serves another customer who has ordered frozen yogurt.

My husband brings up a couple of boxes of tea – they are the same kind but one is double the price of the other – so he asks what the difference is.

She replies with – ‘one is American. That’s the only difference.’

So my husband asks how to use the loose powder version as opposed to the sachets. And she replies with a shrug.

So we place our ‘no sugar sugar’ on the counter and she asks ‘is that the lot?’.

‘And the frozen yoghurt’ I reply.

‘Yes’ she says and processes the transaction. Then goes to make the frozen yogurt.

I left that shop feeling a little annoyed. My customer experience wasn’t awesome. In fact I suggested we visit a different health food shop next time to my husband.

We also didn’t get all the stuff we wanted, or needed to start on our healthy baking journey…

Customer Experience #2

The next day we went to the other health food shop in town.

We were greeted by a friendly lady asking us what we were looking for – with a smile.

She showed us a range of ‘healthy baking products’ and talked with enthusiasm and told us some of the healthy baking she’d had success with.

Then she asked us if we wanted to join their VIP list. She said they offered members 20% off in store every Tuesday and that they sent out weekly emails about specials, recipes, etc.

So we said yes…

That is exactly the information we were looking for. And we’d love to get 20% off.

I left that experience happy and satisfied – I felt more confident in our healthy baking project and looked forward to it, I felt good that we’d spent money with her in her business.

The reason I’m sharing these experiences is that I think it highlights how simple and yet how uncommon a great customer experience is.

What’s the difference?

This is what made my customer experience bad in the first experience;

  • disinterest in my needs
  • lack of product knowledge
  • forgotten order
  • lack of friendliness

And the results..

  • we spent less
  • we probably won’t return

And what links all these together?

They are all dependent on a single person. Not the shop. Or the products. Or even the owner…

Stop and think about that for a second…

Conversely, this is what made my customer experience great in the second instance;

  • friendly greeting
  • interest in our needs
  • personalised advice
  • demonstrated expertise

And the results…

  • We bought more than we intended
  • We signed up to the VIP list
  • And will become regular customers.

Again, these are all dependent on a single person.

This is how much staff impact on your business. And you can see how much this can impact on your bottom line.

This is especially true for hospitality businesses. And this explains why your staff are SO IMPORTANT to your business’ success.

So, how can you get your staff to provide a good customer experience?

  1. First and foremost – TRAIN YOUR STAFF – they not only need to know what you expect of them, they need to be taught how to do it. Lead by example.
  2. BE AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE – being a good employer requires a lot of things, but in essence providing a pleasant work environment and adhering to the award is a good start. This will be reflected in their work ethic, motivation and loyalty.
  3. RECOGNISE & REWARD – encourages desired behaviour. Praise and thanks goes a long way. People are motivated by different things – find out what makes your staff tick and use that.

It just so happens that we can help you with this!

You can check out our Customer Experience services here.

If you want to know more about training your front of house staff – please get in touch 🙂


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