Audit How You Stack up to the 6 Components of a Customer’s Experience

5 Quick Tips to Help you Make Price Irrelevant

1) Customer Service Feature Story

The Six Components of a Customer’s Experience

 

In order to create brand loyalty and customer evangelists, you must 1) operate at a high level in six distinct areas of business and 2) constantly evaluate your company’s customer service across each category, separately, and as categories overlap:

  1. Physical: Deals with the actual brick-and-mortar component of your operation. These are the physical elements that are more permanent or long-term, that cannot be changed daily.
  2. Atmosphere: Refers to the controllable setting you create daily. Everything speaks in your business, from your cleanliness, to your tone of your voice, to the positivity or lack of in your signage. The setting communicates a message about what you can provide your customers. This isn’t always visual; it may be the music your customers hear when they call and are placed on hold or the mood your website creates. The setting reveals the characteristics of your business as they appeal to the five senses of your customer: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.
  3. Functional: Refers to the ease of doing business with you—return policies, hours of operations, and other factors. Functionality has nothing to do with human interactions, such as being pleasant or saying please or thank you.
  4. Technical: Refers to your staff’s level of expertise in their particular skills and in the company’s systems and equipment, such as product and job knowledge. Again, this has nothing to do with whether they are nice.
  5. Operational: Refers to the actions that team members must execute behind the scenes before, during, and after a customer’s experience. These actions assist in the day-to-day transactions with customers, the tasks, compliances, and duties of our jobs.
  6. Engagement: Refers to the actions that team members execute to build a rapport, personalize the customer’s experience, show empathy, and make a brilliant comeback when they drop the ball. 

 

Let’s look at some real-life examples of these components:

  • Your server is the most incompetent waitress (technical) you have ever met.
  • The place needs a good paint job (physical).
  • The store where you shop is always out of what you want (operational).
  • Your favorite store is difficult to get to and barely has any parking (physical).
  • This salon has high energy and always smells great (atmosphere).
  • The quality of the food (technical) is unfit for human consumption.
  • An associate overheard that you really wanted a diet drink and ran across the street to the drugstore to get it for you (engagement).
  • At the diner, everything is themed 1950s style (atmosphere).
  • It is impossible to get a human being on the phone. No matter what you try, you cannot get out of the company’s voice-mail maze (functionality).
  • The company has a 24-hour answering service and guarantees a call back within 60 minutes (functionality).
  • My sales rep always screws up my order (technical).

 

Specific examples of each of these six components are:

Physical

Brick and mortar
Building
Structure
Architecture
Location
Accessibility
Parking availability
Design
Décor
Public areas
Floor coverings
Signage
Spaciousness
Handicap accessible

Setting

Ambiance
Candles
Theme
Lighting
Acoustics
Grounds
Furnishings
Comfort of chairs, beds, etc.
Mood
Signage
Sound system
TV placement
Noise level

Functional

Policies
Hours of operation
Ease of doing business
Accessibility to a human being
Product selection
Design of your web site
How well you are staffed
Reliability of vendors
Security
Payment options
Phone number on web site

Technical

Employees’ level of expertise
Speed of your technology
Computers
State of the art
Technology
Ability to use your web site
Equipment
Phone system
Software
Product knowledge
Quality of product
Timeliness
Knowledge

Operational

Daily tasks
Cleaning
Dress code
Preparation
Answering the phone
Duties
Checking people out
Processing orders
Functions of the job
Compliances
Paperwork

Experiential

Hospitality
Customer engagement
Personalization
Above and beyond
Using the customer’s name
Remembering preferences
Presentation of food
Verbiage/vocabulary of staff
Congeniality
Willingness to help
Anticipating needs
Service recovery
Soft skills 

Are any of the components more important than another? No, all are critical and all need to be reviewed and tweaked on a regular basis. The components differ significantly in terms of required people skills training. Physical, setting and functionality have little to do with training or people skills, but the other three components absolutely do involve people skills and training. There is a difference, however, in the training required for each component. It is much easier to train employees on technical and operational skills; they are job-specific, and they include easy-to-train subjects, such as product knowledge, and checklists. Also, technical and operational skills tend to be present because of prior education, degrees, licensing, certifications, and trade schools. Many industries today mandate continuing education credit hours. The vast majority of companies are weakest in the experiential category.

* We are now accepting applications for the 2021 Customer eXperience Executive Academy (CXEA), which starts April 2021 with virtual classes until travel restrictions ease.

 

2) Episode 33 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast

In Episode 33 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast, Chief Revolution Officer and best-selling author John DiJulius speaks with Ryan Magnon, Senior Principal Operations Lead at Chick- fil-A Corporate on the secret behind how Chick-fil-A gets their young workforce to deliver world-class customer service consistently. 

 

You want to talk about an Ivy league education in hospitality, Magnon has worked for two of the biggest hospitality giants: Horst Schulze, co-founder of The Ritz-Carlton, and Truet Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. Ryan shares so many incredible insights on what he has learned from both as well as the real reason why Chick-fil-A can get amazing results from young frontline employees. 

What you will learn:

  • Ryan’s journey from working for two hospitality icons, Horst Schulze and Truet Cathy
  • How Chick-fil-A inspired their leaders and employees to put the customer first
  • The real reason Chick-fil-A can get amazing results from young frontline employees
  • How the moment you become a leader; you lose the right to make excuses
  • It is not about what Chick-fil-A wants from their people, rather what they want for their people 
  • How Chick-fil-A pivoted in the pandemic

 

3) Must watch short video

During my interview with Ryan Magnon, Senior Principal Operations Lead at Chick-fil-A Corporate, in Episode 33 of The Customer Service Revolution Podcast, he talks about a powerful video called We are Chick-fil-A. This is one of the key reasons why Chick-fil-A has the amazing culture it does—because of their relentless focus on getting every team member to rally around their purpose. How can you create a similar message for your organization? 

4) Quote of The Week 

 

“Great companies are great precisely because they stand for something special, different, distinctive. That means, almost by definition, that they are not for everybody.” 

–Jeff Bezos

 

5) Join us for our webinar on How to Build Your own 6 figure CX Coaching Businessyour dreams as a CX Coach

 Are you waking up before your alarm goes off, throwing the covers off and jumping out of bed because you are so excited about your workday, your career, and the impact you are having? Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who do feel like that. Maybe it is time you become one of them. Join John DiJulius on March 10th, 3 pm EST, for our webinar on How to Build Your own 6 Figure CX Coaching Business.

In this webinar, find out how you can start a business around your passion and grow it to six figures, working just a few days a week.

You’ll hear: 

  • what it takes to become a successful coach and business owner
  • how to find your first clients
  • the formula to follow to ensure your success
  • the benefit a community plays when you’re a solopreneur
  • how to earn six figures your first year
  • Who should apply to become a CX Coach 

 

About The Author

John DiJulius

John R. DiJulius is a best-selling author, consultant, keynote speaker and President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices.

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