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Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

Ulteig just adopted a new tag line, “We listen, we solve.”  The engineer in me loves it! Do you know why?  It emphasizes the difference between customer service and customer experience. So much of marketing emphasizes great customer service, which is the “we listen.” Engineering focuses on implementing elegant solutions to difficult problems, which is the “we solve,” and which ultimately is the customer’s experience.

The single most important factor for an organization to achieve business success is creating a significant point of differentiation and competitive advantage—and that differentiation is between great customer service and great customer experience. Our strength isn’t as much about the quality of our customer service as it is about our exemplary customer experience. We are good at what we DO. Ask our clients! Why wouldn’t they want us to do MORE for them?

Individually, our experience supersedes our knowledge. When I first started hiking wilderness trails, I had studied the things I might encounter, and I knew lots of rules about encounters with potential hazards and threats. And yet, when I experienced a surprise encounter with a rattlesnake that was ready to strike, lying along the trail, I didn’t “move away slowly.”  I jumped three feet in the air and ran ten feet down the trail before I even thought about options. AND, in spite of all my training and knowledge that the snake was probably long gone, I couldn’t bring myself to go back up that trail. As an engineer, I tend to believe that logic supersedes everything, and yet, I couldn’t explain my “illogical” response.

One bad experience supersedes everything we have been told and think we “know!” If we are to distinguish ourselves and gain a competitive advantage in the industry, as we must, we need to not only listen but demonstrate our capabilities, and that rests on the skills of our employee/owners! That’s you, whatever your role!

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