The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer Experience

 In Customer Engagement, Customer Loyalty & Retention, Customer Service & Satisfaction, Customers, Employee engagement, Leadership

A superior customer experience is rare. I travel often. As a result, I live the best and worst customer experience’s companies have to offer. The poor examples outnumber the good.

For example, recently I was going from Minneapolis to NYC. The plane was late, and the attendants crabby. When I got to my hotel, the clerk seemed annoyed with me.  He acted more tired than I was. Chalk one up for mediocre service. Maybe you take the corporate jet, and this is not a concern. But I am sure that you buy “stuff” with your money at a variety of places, and it does not take long to experience service breakdowns, does it?

The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer ExperienceHorrible Service Reigns not a Superior Customer Experience

Quickly customers everywhere encounter the following:

  1. Discourteous rude employees.
  2. Unresponsiveness zombie-like employees.
  3. Customer service reps that can’t make a decision.
  4. Excessive delays on the phone.
  5. Untrained employees.
  6. Too many options on phone calls.
  7. Lack of complaint resolution online and in-person.
  8. Dinosaur service policies that do not help.
  9. Confusing service options on websites.
  10. Automated chat services that cannot help and overall slow responses.
  11. Websites that are unresponsive or marketed products that are unavailable.

How do the above play out in organizations? For example, Target consistently is out of stock on items, and has website problems. Kroger employees seldom ask you if you need help, you must find someone to help. Delta Airlines employees never seem to be happy. They are like robots doing their jobs. Walmart stores are often dirty, the aisles are cluttered, and the employees going through motions. Comcast has continual technology problems. Wells Fargo has a poor reputation because of recent scandals. Customer support is not their priority.

This list could go on, but let’s not get depressed. Sometimes I wonder what these organizations are thinking. Did they plan for their employees to do a poor job? Do they just not know what to do? Do they care? Are they stupid?!

A Superior Customer Experience Pays

The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer ExperienceI receive the American Customer Satisfaction Indexes (ACSI) monthly reports. The average customer satisfaction rating is 77.0. This is a “C” grade at best. Currently, the overall rating for over 500 corporations took a dive to 73.4.

Consequently, I wouldn’t give the two companies mentioned above that high a rating. It’s too bad that so many companies have poor service or, at best, average service. Research shows us that the top service companies have higher sales growth and profits over time. Check out the PIMS Database, US Office of Consumer Affairs, Forrester, Bain and ACSI. Intuitively, we all know it is common sense. Furthermore, companies with awesome service have higher customer loyalty and financial success. Superior service pays.

Keys to the Secret Sauce for a Superior Customer Experience

Instead of working to improve, it seems like everyone keeps surveying customers for even more feedback. However, little changes. Or, they keep adding new technology to fix things, but all the new stuff creates additional problems.

The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer ExperienceSecret Sauce #1 Ingredient

Companies need to stop spending millions of dollars on customer surveys for data that isn’t used. Instead, why not invest in applying the data to create customer driven processes and teams? It is obvious that few companies do this. Why not survey and measure less. Then, spend significantly more time and money improving, updating, and changing processes. And training, coaching, recognizing, and supporting your employee teams so they become superstars.

Secret Sauce #2 Ingredient

What if company managers treated the employees like Olympic athletes? In our technology driven society this next sentence may be a radical thought. Become people focused, not system focused. Imagine if we made employees the heroes of the business? They would come up with super ideas for improvement. In addition, I believe they would serve customers in grand style, don’t you? They would do it because they want to not that they have to.  These are the two ingredients to the “secret sauce” for a superior customer experience that so many companies have discounted or forgotten.

Pulling It All Together

Finally, Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” Walt Disney added, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” I just had to share these words of wisdom. I hope you or your organization consider the secret sauce to a superior customer experience. Your career and your company’s survival may depend on it.

The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer ExperienceBy the way, do you want a game-plan to increase the customer experience of your team today? Download this complimentary guide: The Customer has the Power.

The Secret Sauce to a Superior Customer Experience

Furthermore, do you want to enhance your leadership skills to drive customer-centered behaviors in employees? If so, check out my new book, Superstar Leadership Model: Good Boss Bad Bos Which One are YOU?

Finally, do you want to become a leader that makes a positive difference on people and this world? See this: 21 Servant Leadership Training Lessons.

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Showing 8 comments
  • Lilly Ray

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

    • Rick Conlow

      HI LILLY:
      Thanks for your generous comment. Employee engagement is a dismal 15% worldwide. Tremendous potential that is under valued. Unfortunately, toxic workplaces and bad or mediocre bosses abound. Consequently, the Great Resignation reigns. The truth is not many companies value employees. Trust is broken. Companies see employees as disposable commodities. We need a people-first approach in business and government. We need Servant Leaders that care. I am a champion of Servant Leadership. Any leader or company can do much better if they consider the spirit of my article. I have seen it, and helped companies do it. Check out our movement.
      Again, thank you for you thoughts. The best of success to you.

  • Irene

    I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  • Stephanie

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website is very good.


    The topics covered here are always so interesting and unique Thank you for keeping me informed and entertained!

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