Owning the Customer’s Total Experience

A Success Story for a Company that Didn’t Let a Customer Down in a Time of Need

August 15, 2013

In Customers.com, published in 1998, we emphasized the importance of Owning the Customers Total Experience. And is just as important advice today. Here is a great story of a company CEO who went beyond customer service to ensure a customer was successful even though the customer's problems had nothing to do with the company’s product. The ultimate reward for that dedication and customer commitment saved the company in a time of crisis.


Even when you aren’t in control of every experience your customer has surrounding your products and services (such as delivery, platforms, and accessory products), customers still count on your company to take care of them. To the customer, it is all one brand experience.

Here is an example of how one company lost business by not making sure the customer experience was stellar throughout. Here, too, is a terrific example of a company that went out of its way to “own” a customer’s total experience, and reaped the rewards when they were most unexpected and most needed.

Ron Burley

 Ron Burley

© 2013 Bushfire Consulting


Secrets to Success Then and Now

It’s been 15 years since Patty and I first published our best-selling book, Customers.com in 1998 (which we now refer to as Customers.com Classic since we’ve updated many of the case studies and added new concepts and examples—all published in our Customers.com Strategy Service). But one thing that hasn’t changed is our list of eight Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for making it easy for customers to do business with you:

  1. Target the right customers
  2. Own the customer’s total experience
  3. Streamline business processes that impact the customer
  4. Provide a 360-degree view of the customer relationship
  5. Let customers help themselves
  6. Help customers do their jobs
  7. Deliver personalized service
  8. Foster community

We continue to believe that these are strategies that help your organization create win/win relationships with your customers by not only making it easy to do business together, but by helping customers achieve their goals.

Ron Burley and the Broadcast Software Team

 Ron Burley and the Broadcast Software Team

© 2013 Broadcast Software, Inc.


What Not to Do!

I have always explained the importance of owning the customer’s total experience with an example of a provider that missed that mark (by miles) that actually happened to us at Patricia Seybold Group (long-time readers might remember this fun story).

Years ago, when we had offices in downtown Boston, we ordered new lobby furniture online. The retailer had an easy-to-use site with furniture we liked for a good price. It all went smoothly…until, that is, we tried to actually get the furniture delivered! The delivery company the retailer engaged to get the furniture to us was a disaster. The first time they arrived with the wrong order. So we rescheduled with them. They never showed up for that second delivery. So we called them and rescheduled again.

They did show up that third time, but the delivery guy...


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