Customer Experience Management - That Was Easy
Do you know what company coined the trademark phrase "that was easy?"
After a recent experience I can tell you that it is not just a
catch-phrase to which they pay lip-service. Staples (the office supply
superstore) lives this!
Over the years, I have consistently used Staples to produce (print and
bind) presentations and workbooks in support of client projects. My most
recent visit far exceeded my expectations.
The evening before the "big event" - a workshop on Customer Experience
Management - found me putting the final touches on my custom-designed
material. Just after 8pm, I was preparing to submit my "print job" to
Staples by uploading the materials to their website. Whether it was my
internet connection, or the Staples website, the upload wasn't happening
as fast as I would have liked. Wanting to get this behind me, so that I
could sleep well that night, I decided to pick up the phone and contact
the local Staples (in Nashua, NH) who would be the recipient of this
Like most consumers I know, I have pretty low expectations with regards
to dealing with store clerks at retail chains. As such, I was prepared
for some tedious conversation and lots of reasons why they couldn't help
me - not because I had previously experienced this with Staples, but
because I had placed them in the category of "one of those retail
chains." You know, one of those companies that don't try to manage your
experience but simply and haphazardly process run-of-the mill
transactions (and nothing else).
I called the store and reached the Copy & Print center in "one hop."
That is, someone answered the phone and asked how they could help me.
When I asked for the Copy & Print center, I was promptly transferred to
a courteous and professional gentleman. After I had I explained my
situation, the Staples representative said something to the effect of:
"Sounds like you have a lot of material and it will be tight to get this
done by tomorrow at 11am. Instead of fussing with the website, why don't
you just email the package to me and we'll get right on it." I wasn't
sure I heard him right. So, I confirmed…Wow!
He IMMEDIATELY made it his problem to help me get around the website to
get the materials to him so that he could get the print job started
before he left for the evening.
I slept well that night.
At approximately 9:30 the next morning, I received a phone call from
Staples (a different person this time) indicating that my print job was
ready for pickup. I let them know that I'd stop by around 10:30am on my
way to the client site.
When I arrived at the store and introduced myself to the Copy & Print
Center clerk, they paged someone. My first thought was, uh-oh, something
must have gone wrong with my print job and they need a manager to
explain it to me. Again, retail expectations…Wrong again…
A neatly dressed gentleman in shirt and tie introduced himself as the
local Staples Business Consultant. He inquired about my business, asking
if I frequently had a need for these types of services. When I indicated
that I use these services occasionally throughout the year, he shared
how I could immediately save money with their Copy & Print Business
Discount Program. This is a "no-cost" program with discounts based
purely upon "anticipated future volume" and no contract (that is, NO
OBLIGATION to do so and no penalties for not meeting the anticipated
volumes). I, of course, said "sign me up."
He then handed the paperwork off to the Copy & Print Center clerk who
processed my payment for the print job (minus the discount I hadn't even
known I could obtain).
The consultant then asked me for a business card so that he might
contact me in the future. When I handed him my trademark business card
(a Customer Centricity memory stick containing a vcard and promotional
materials), he inquired if I was aware that Staples is one of the
largest producers of custom-logo memory sticks. I said that I had no
idea. He then committed to getting back to me with a quote in order to
win my business. In addition, he provided me his business card with his
direct line, cell number and email address so that I could contact him
if I had any questions or other needs.
As a reminder, this case-study example (which occurred last week) is
about a retail establishment (Staples) which has up-leveled their
customer experience in a down economy. Are they crazy? No! They just hit
a home run!
Are you continuously improving your customers' experience, by making it
easier for customers to do business with you? Did you know that the
result of doing so makes you more profitable? Reasons for this include:
There are fewer unproductive interactions (for you and
the customer), with the added inefficiencies of disparate people
(depending on the time of day, day of week, or departments the
customer may need to interact with) each of which has to be brought
up-to-speed regarding the "business or task at hand."
There are fewer escalations due to mishaps and things
falling through the cracks requiring several people to be "spun-up"
to respond to the situation and "make it right."
Your employees' morale improves because there are
fewer difficult and unnecessary interactions with customers.
Instead, your customer-facing personnel can do what they signed up
for: delivering value to the customer.
Last, but not least, companies that deliver easy and
productive experiences have the luxury of these customers performing
as reference accounts, telling others about the experience which
results in new business coming your way.
For your business to be considered vital, in these economic times, you
need to continuously up-level your customers' experience by making it
easier for them to do business with you. You want your customers to say
"that was easy!"
+ Customer Experience Management - That Was
If you have received this newsletter from a friend
and would like to subscribe:
here to subscribe
View previous newsletters
Some Words From Our Customers
Check out what a customer
had to say about his experience with Customer
We contacted Customer
Centricity to help us increase business and launch our newly expanded
building and property management services. I was very impressed from the
start as they had us take a step back and provided an objective
perspective and approach to meet our challenge. From our "kick-off"
meeting through completion, they walked us through a step by step
approach, always being very responsive and available for consultation.
We looked at our customer base in a manner we hadn't before which helped
us understand how our customer base could be harvested from within as
well as approaches to effectively acquire new customers. The
implementation of their approach was very successful and we couldn't be
more pleased. I highly recommend Customer Centricity.
Peter M. Ciaraldi
Professional Building Services
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
See What Our Customers Say