Earl's Pearls

Thought leadership and pearls of wisdom

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Exceptional Customer Experience

Perhaps you are a subscriber, as I am, to a neighborhood social media platform. On Nextdoor.com, you will find opinions, requests for information, items to buy or sell, recommendations, complaints, and most of the other things you expect to read on social media.

A few days ago, I received a Nextdoor post recommending a Wild Birds Unlimited franchisee here in Atlanta. My attention peeked not only because one of my business segments is Customer Experience Training for which I have great passion, but also because this is a birding retailer whom I have supported for over 15 years. I am an ambassador, having sent them countless customers.

The author of the post merely walked in to buy some seed. An afterthought in the process, they casually mentioned their feeder had developed a crack in it. The associate suggested the customer bring the feeder in and they would repair it. The customer returned with the damaged feeder and the associate cheerfully changed the broken tube. “No charge” the associate said, “thank you, its covered by warranty.” The customer went on to post, “how nice it is for someone to stand behind their products. The associates are always friendly and helpful, but I thought this was extraordinary and wanted to highlight them to my other neighbors.”

The post received many responses offering layers of praise. And of course, I joined in similarly. While I can buy seed or supplies almost anywhere, I hold out for the Wild Birds store experience that makes me feel I am special to them.

As measured in the CX space, this customer has been the recipient of a unique, rewarding, recurring customer experience and they just wanted to…crow about it.

It is not enough to solve a customer’s specific issue, in this case the need for seed. Wild Birds Unlimited checked all the CX boxes. They made this customer feel valued and appreciated. This associate was listening and offered additional assistance.  They went the extra mile by offering to repair the feeder, unexpectedly at no cost to his customer. This is a relationship that is quick, easy and without obstacles. The associate acted like an owner and made an already great relationship even more sticky by his quick thinking. This organization is relationship oriented: friendly, positive, welcoming, focused on building trust-based relationships.

We all have customers that buy from us initially because we deliver quality products, great value, service, or brand promise. But they will leave us, more often than not, if we fail to deliver on Customer Experience. Whether a neighborhood retail store or a billion-dollar organization, the one thing that separates the great companies from the good is a sharp, overriding focus on keeping the customer. The customer is everything. Wild Birds Unlimited epitomizes delivering an exceptional customer experience.

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