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How would you define the perfect customer experience?

Expert Martha Rogers gives examples of excellent customer experiences and advises companies to show they care about their customers.

Is there such a thing as a perfect customer experience? How would you describe it?
I can give you some examples from customers and participants in our recent presentations and workshops.

One gentleman told us about a situation where he bought a house and got a one-year warranty, and the contractor...

called him a month before the house was going to go out of warranty and offered to do a walk through to make sure everything was working well. As a result, if this man ever does work on his house in the future or recommends a contractor to a friend, he will use that contractor.

Here's another example. Many people who bought the Xbox 360 had problems with it after a certain amount of time. Because of this, Microsoft extended the warranty time for all of those customers so they would be covered if they had to have repairs done. A friend of ours has a son who was one of the early buyers of the Xbox 360. His machine had a problem after it was out of warranty, before the new policy was put into place, so he sent in the Xbox for repair, got it back and paid for the repair. As soon as the new extended warranty came out, he got a rebate check in the mail.

The point is this: A customer experience is not just one piece of theater or a momentary delight. While those are great, and a step in the right direction, real positive customer experience comes from companies who show they care about the customer. Companies that have a memory (so customers don't have to tell their story repeatedly) and really provide ongoing value to a customer understand that customers are truly the most valuable entity of any business. Those companies treat their customers as not only their only source of revenue, but as a scarce, valuable resource. When companies work this way we are much more likely to see really terrific customer experiences.


Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.


This was last published in December 2007

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A perfect customer experience is one that leaves you with a good feeling and the self-satisfaction that you made the correct choice with your purchase; not a feeling that you've had your hard-earned money unfairly taken from you.
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