Bill Quiseng has over 35 years of luxury resort/club experience and is a speaker, blogger and award-winning writer in the areas of customer service for front-line associates and customer service leadership for managers. He has been recognized for his customer service and customer experience insight on social media with accolades such Huffington Post Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter, Userlike 11 Gurus of Customer Service and Hootsuite Must-Follow List for Social Customer Service.
Hi Bill! Can you tell us how you got into CX and why you find the space so interesting?
My very first job out of college was at Great America Theme Park. I learned how music, food, scenery, props, costuming and scripting worked to transport the guest from one location to the next, for example, from Orleans Place to Yukon Territory. Great America was, in reality, a venue for amusement rides, but, with the total sensory immersion, the perception by the guests was that the experience was more than that. Ever since then, I understood that to a customer, perception is reality and feelings are facts.
Recently we’ve seen a massive increase in the importance of CX – why do you think that is?
In the past customers had to trust the product expertise of the salesperson because they had no way of checking or comparing his knowledge. Today that knowledge is as close as their mobile device. Customers feel that there is no scarcity of any product or service with a similar one is just a click away. At the same time, as social media has become the norm, people are easily referring to review sites to confirm their pre-purchase decisions. If a company says they’re great, that’s advertising, but if someone else, even someone they do not know, says the company is great, the customer feels that’s the truth. A customer’s perception will trump a company’s advertising every time. It’s no longer only about the product or service anymore. Today the real differentiator for the customer is in the experience.
What do you think will be the main CX trends this year?
I think the only trend that will matter is personalization. Dale Carnegie said over 70 years ago that “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Using a person’s name should be a non-negotiable service basic. Yet the last five times you used your credit card, how many times did the cashier use your name in returning it? So the companies that will lead are those who will use technology to personalize the experience.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give a business trying to improve their customer experience?
It’s not the one big WOW to one customer that wins the day. It is the one little WOW delivered consistently to every customer. Consistency builds trust. Trust builds loyalty. Loyalty builds the business.
How important is customer feedback as a component of customer experience?
You cannot satisfy your customers until you remove all the potential dissatisfiers. So customer feedback is critical in identifying those dissatisfiers. But no customer does business with a company with the expectation to be dissatisfied. Creating a problem-free experience just gets you in the game. To drive customer loyalty, you’ve got to exceed customer expectations. And the best way to do that is to know what they are. So ask them. They’ll tell you. And always remember that the value of your customer surveys is not in the score. It’s in the verbatim comments. Read them and act.
Which CX metrics do you think are the most important?
A company could have hundreds of employees serving thousands of customers in a day, but no single customer cares about all the other customers. All he cares about is himself. So I feel that the only key metric that matters is generated from this one survey question, “Did our Associate care about you?” Yes or No.
Who do you think needs to own CX in a company?
I firmly believe that every single person in the company should live the mantra to “Think like the customer and act like the owner.”
Which companies today do you think have great CX? Why?
Of course, the online company that stands above the others is Amazon. As a customer, I understand that the personalization is computer generated, but I feel “they get me.” The bricks and mortar company that delivers a great experience is The Ritz-Carlton. How can you not exceed expectations with all employees serving as role model examples of their mantra, “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” These companies understand that the value to the customer is not in the one-time transaction. It’s in the long term interaction.
Check out Bill’s website billquiseng.com for more CX insights.