Rules for creating a Great Customer Experience

In 2005 the UK’s most outspoken chef & entrepreneur Gordon Ramsey was a speaker at Customer Management 2005, London. We made then summary of some of his quotes that are really valid also today – eight years later.

    • – leaders do not create followers – they create more leaders
    • – create an organization with buzz. You need to involve your customers as players here – it is the customers who create the ambience.
    • – wow all your customers, not only the best ones
    • – listen your customers
    • – you are the customer’s champion, challenge complacent practices in your sector
    • – do not let success go to your head and you do not take customers for granted
    • – use the best ingredients (that includes people!)
    • – all business is show business – companies from all sectors are learning how to let customer in and join the “prosumption”experience – instead of being treated as just consumers.

“If there’s a buzz in our industry about a new restaurant opening anywhere in the world, there will be a booking made for a table for six within 48 hours of the restaurant opening. Those six will be my staff – three waiters from front of house and three kitchen staff. They’ll be there to learn and to report back. That’s how we keep up with competitor innovation and stay abreast of what’s going on.”

G. Ramsay quotes

“I was interviewed on the Letterman Show in the States. He said to me ‘While you’re over here, who’s doing the cooking back at your restaurants?’ I said ‘The same people who do it when I am there.’  “We have ten restaurants around the world. I don’t cook in all of them. It’s about inspiring and developing people to aim for perfection for customers then letting them get on and deliver. The better they become, the easier my job is.” “David Letterman was wearing a very nice suit. I leant forward and asked him who made it. He flashed the Armani label and said it cost around $1,000. ‘And did Georgio do the stitching?’ I asked him.”“If I seem abrasive it’s because I have to engrain in every member of staff that we are not more important than the customer. I am demanding perfection on behalf of the customer. Part of getting that message across is we insist that staff put themselves in the position of the customer.

“I had a talented young chef who insisted on making impressive little towers out of his dishes – you know the way chefs make your food into an architectural statement. I asked him to keep them flat and simple on the plate. He was very reluctant to. “One lunch time I noticed him constructing a lamb cutlet tower of Pisa-type thing on a plate, ready to send out to the customer. I came up to him and said ’Put on an apron that doesn’t have food stains on it and follow your food into the restaurant to see what happens.’ He wouldn’t. I, er, insisted. “So he creeps out as quietly as possible, not wanting to head out of his territory, and follows the food to the customer who had ordered the lamb. The customer immediately dismantles the tower so they can eat it. The young chef is crestfallen. But he gets it. The customer is there to enjoy the flavors, not marvel at an art form. From then on he always lays the lamb out flat on the plate. Because it’s about the customer, not about your precious work of art.”

“How do you develop the social skills of a chef, putting them in touch with the customers like that on a regular basis? At Claridges, that’s one of the reasons we set up the Chef’s Table, at the edge of the kitchen, so chefs can connect with customers.“

“We had young chefs working there who had never previously met their customer. Now they were forced to. They had to spend two minutes meeting a table of people and explaining to them what they would be doing to their dishes. Then, two hours later, they had to revisit the table and ask the customers what they thought of the experience.”

“Not only is this immensely powerful for the customer experience and for putting the chef right there with the customer, it also makes financial sense: each chef’s table turns over about three-quarters of a million pounds a year in what was the pot wash area.”

What influences Customer Experience?

Previously we have written about Customer Experience and how it gives the company competitive advantage. Customer experience is vital part in experience design, where we try to analyze service through customers’ eyes. This is also important part in service design. But what customer experience and what are the differences of customer desires?

Customer Experience definition

 

It’s known that more than 50% of Customer Experience is about emotions. This includes also B2B environment. So this means that it is more important to look deeper inside the customer to understand their motivations, desires and what drives value for them.

In the book “Customer Experience: Future Trends and Insights” the authors have made a model where they show all of the levels of customer desires.

Customer Desire Model

In this model we see that all customer desires are divided in 4 categories:

  • SUBCONSCIOUS– they don’t say it but it still drives value
  • CONSCIOUS – customer knows they want it and it drives value
  • INVISIBLE – customers don’t want it and it doesn’t drive value
  • DECEPTION  – customers say they want it but it doesn’t drive value

It is important that company knows their customers to understand which of these desires drive value to the customer and what doesn’t!


How customer experience is linked to customer loyalty?

In case a company wants next sale, good word of mouth, to keep customers, it’s unlikely that anything else the company does for business matters more than delivering a superior experience for customer.

Positive customer experience drives willingness to consider for another purchase, willingness to recommend, and reluctance to switch to a different provider. 

Age of Customer

Business development ages

(I) 1900 to 1960 the age of manufacturing – commercial success was achieved through production efficiency and affordable price;

(II) 1960 to 1990 the age of distribution – the key barrier to competition was a distribution network that brought goods from where they were cheapest to local stores;

(III) 1990 – 2010 the age of information – companies with information-centric products and services gained vast advantage. The power started to shift from sellers to buyers;

 (IV) 2010 – … the AGE of CUSTOMER when brand, manufacturing, distribution, and IT are equal and transparent stakes. Now the customer has extensive and quick access to product, price, services and competitor information with most convenient records about other customer opinions, recommendations or warnings.

It’s very easy for customers to know about products, services, competitors, and pricing via Internet social networks, mobile web access. Customer has power to destroy the service/product sharing widely his/her negative opinion in social media. If service/ product provider does not pay attention to customer opinion statements in different social communities, then customer could have better market overview than a company.

In this age, the main competitive advantage that is well managed customer experience.

What does customer experience management mean?

For efficient customer experience management a company needs to understand that the roots of customer experience success or failure lie deep within and around the company, not just with customer-facing employeess

Disciplines that customer experience leaders must master well:  strategy, customer understanding/ human psychology, anthropology,  service design, measurement, governance, company culture

Customer experience - Customer loyalty

Most  of traditional enterprises have had customer service function responsible for customer contact competent treatment in an efficient way . Customer Experience Management has much wider prospect.

Enterprise who wants to be successful has to decide who is taking at Customer Age the wider and professional role of customer management.

Customers’ changed expectations for service companies

how to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and at the same time increasing the labor cost efficiency?

To stay competitive companies have realized, that service quality and customer satisfaction are becoming more important. In service quality and customer satisfaction one of the most important factor is now the amount of right information given to the clients ie the amount of knowledge to be shared.

However, it is vital for companies in the current economic situation to improve the efficiency of the labor costs … and keep the quality high which is often resource intensive. Therefore these two objectives see to be  quite opposite, There is a solution that could contain the answer to both – knowledge management.

complex-task-sdoor15Knowledge management is a complex, multi-layered concept with many meanings, however, most experts agree that this is a systematic management of knowledge in order to achieve economic benefits.

Specifically said, knowledge management  is the process that includes organizational learning, knowledge creation and sharing knowledge in special databases (Knowledge Base) and in trainings and meeting.

You can read more about knowledge management in The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management.

In addition here are the 100 most influential companies in knowledge management right now.