Featured on Forbes’ website, the article “6 Steps To Refocus Your Business On Customer Delight” written by contributor Martin Zwilling discusses why businesses should sell experiences over products/services.

“Having the best solution is a good start these days, but a solution alone is no longer enough to keep customer attention and loyalty,” writes Zwilling in the article. “They expect to be surprised and delighted as well by their pre-purchase experience and post-purchase interactions. The most memorable businesses, like Starbucks and Apple, no longer sell products; they sell ‘experiences’ with a product at the center.”

In the article, Zwilling discusses six steps to refocus customer satisfaction efforts:

  • Start with a top-down focus on customer experience. Your words and actions must deliver the right message. “Start with feedback from real customers, set measurable objectives and make sure rewards and incentives are tempered by customer experiences, rather than only internal thresholds,” advises Zwilling in the article.
  • Find the best models and aim to be better. Look within and outside of the car care industry to find the best role models; then, start thinking innovatively to “get ahead of the game tomorrow, rather than yesterday,” explains Zwilling in the article. Customers today want world-class service so always keep improving.
  • Make sure the team understands why customer satisfaction matters. Once the team understands the “why,” the “how” will follow as each member defines how his or her processes interconnect with others. “Your objective should be for everyone to look for opportunities to say yes rather than no,” says Zwilling in the article.
  • Fasten customer experience to compensation and recognition. Many businesses are now implementing compensation driven by customer satisfaction.
  • Allow employees to practice their people skills. Rather than simply providing guidelines and/or manuals, allow your front-line staff to practice their customer satisfaction skills. “Ask key team members to step outside the company and record their experience as a customer looking in. Then, let them apply their own input,” suggests Zwilling in the article.
  • Share customer reviews. Sharing stories can be inspire a business’ team as well as its customers; and, real reviews can be more powerful for reaching new customers than marketing/advertising promotions. “Stories illustrate concepts and evoke emotions in a way that even the best facts and figures can’t,” asserts Zwilling in the article. “They highlight the impact of ‘yes’ to all.”

Read the entire article on refocusing customer experience efforts here.