August 12


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

By Sarah Fitzgibbon

August 12, 2019

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 sweetener that wasn’t sugar to the two health food shops in our town.


Customer Experience #1

The first store has been a health food shop since I was a child, when my mum used to take me there to do her health food shopping. The best part of going was getting a frozen yoghurt with honey drizzled on top. So I was keen to get one along with my ‘no sugar sugar’

There were a couple of customers in the store, but it wasn’t busy. We walked around looking a little 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 pointed us to a shelf in the corner. I said “I’d also like a frozen yogurt with honey please”, and we went to look at the sugar alternatives.

My husband brings a couple of boxes of tea up to the counter – 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.” Then he asks how to use the loose powder version as opposed to the sachets. And she replies with a shrug.

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, before making the frozen yogurt.

I left that shop feeling a little annoyed. My customer experience wasn’t awesome. I felt like the staff member didn’t really care about us. We also left without the stuff we needed to start on our healthy baking journey…In fact, I suggested we visit a different health food shop next time.


Customer Experience #2

The next day we went to the other health food shop in town. We were greeted in  friendly fashion with a smaile and asked what we were looking for.

Upon learning of our ‘healthy baking’ project she walked us over to a shelf of products, and spoke with enthusiasm as she introduced us to the products and talked about some of her own healthy baking experiences.

Then she asked us if we wanted to join their VIP list, which offered members 20% off in store every Tuesday (great way to increase revenue on a slow day) and included a weekly email with other specials, product reviews, recipes, etc.

So we said yes! That was 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.

These different experiences highlight just how simple it can be to provide a great customer experience.


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 probably 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.

Sarah Fitzgibbon

About the author

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