award-winning customer service speaker, blogger and writer. He has been recognized for his customer service and customer experience insight on social media with many accolades, most recently as one of the Top Customer Service Influencers of 2018 by Fit Small Business. Subscribe to Bill's Blog at http://billquiseng.com and join him on Facebook at https://fb.me/billquisengdotcom and Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/billquiseng.
QUESTION: How do you explain the difference between customer service and customer experience?
BILL QUISENG: Customer service is all about what you do for a customer. But, customer experience is all about how the customer feels about your company. It’s not only how the customer feels about your service, but also how he feels about every aspect of your company, from the ease of navigation on your website to the simplicity of understanding the final invoice, and literally every sensory touchpoint in between. In today’s very competitive marketplace, great customer service merely gets you into the game. Great customer experience makes you a winner.
QUESTION: Your pinned Tweet on Twitter says, “To earn new customers, don’t try to get inside their heads. Get inside their hearts. Create an emotional connection.” Can you please elaborate?
BILL QUISENG: Companies brainstorm elaborate journey maps to ensure that, at every touchpoint, the customer experience is consistent and effortless. They believe that, with expectations met, the customer will be satisfied. But satisfied customers are not necessarily loyal customers. If the product and services are similar between several competitors, customers will be more loyal to the company that makes them feel important and special.
Businesses need to understand and educate their employees that there is a difference between taking care of a customer and caring for the customer. For example, taking care of a hotel guest is checking him quickly, giving him a key to a room that is clean and problem-free. Caring for a guest is recognizing that the guest was obviously under the weather and sending up a cup of chicken soup with a note, “Hope you are feeling better soon.” Taking care of a customer is a transaction. Genuinely caring for a customer generates an emotional connection. And emotionally engaged customers are much more loyal than merely satisfied ones.
QUESTION: What customer experience metric should every brand use, and why?
BILL QUISENG: It seems there is an infinite number of ways to measure customer experience, whether it is NPS, CSAT, FCR, AHT, etc. But if your business is truly customer-centric, then you should come to terms with the fact that customers don’t care about your metrics. They only care about this metric: 1 to 1. No one customer cares about any of the other customers. That one customer only cares about himself. And when that customer interacts with your one employee in front of him, he wants to know what that one employee can do for him at that moment. So, there are only two survey questions needed to measure customer experience:
 “Did you feel that the Associate cared about you?” Yes or no.
But how will you know if you are being successful? Just read the comments to survey question #2 and you’ll know. Then work hard to eliminate the complaints. And when you earn a lot more yes’s than no’s, you will have vastly improved the only metric that matters to any business: PROFIT.
QUESTION: There is a mindset that a focus on employees, rather than on customers, is the best way to improve service. Can you please elaborate?
BILL QUISENG: If you want to win the hearts of your customers, you must first win the hearts of your employees. And as one of their needs, your employees are looking for opportunities for continuous learning and development. Spend as much money training your people to keep a customer as you spend on marketing campaigns to find a new customer.
If you want to improve the customer experience and drive employee engagement, you should be actively listening to your employees. Every day, every manager should be asking two questions of at least one employee.
 “What are you hearing?”
Listen to what your employees tell you that customers are complaining about and then do whatever it takes to fix it. And remember, if you want your employees to deliver outstanding customer service, you need to make it a habit to recognize them when they do.
 “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Anything your employees mention is a hindrance or would be a help to doing their job better. Own the feedback and act on any promise made to them. With the intent to deliver exceptional customer service, remember this mantra: Happy Employees = Happy Customers.
QUESTION: What’s your favorite customer service story?
BILL QUISENG: My favorite story is about Joshie the Giraffe. A young boy lost Joshie, his plush giraffe (stuffed animal toy) while vacationing at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Florida. When the Loss Prevention team found the stuffed animal, the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton created a scrapbook of Joshie’s extended vacation sunbathing in a chaise lounge, getting a massage in the spa, driving a golf cart, and even working a shift in the Loss Prevention department. That was back in 2012, and now as a legendary customer service story, it resonates long after the actual event has passed.
To read the full story about Joshie the Giraffe by the stuffed animal’s owner’s father, @TheChrisHurn on Twitter, here’s the link:
And to read Part Two – an even better story – by Chris Hurn, here’s the link:
Image Credit: Bill Quiseng.