3 Examples of When Customer Employee Experience Becomes a Community Experience

Even in the worst of global economic times, there are ways to approach customer experience in a more communal manner.

It’s amazing how traveling to other parts of the world can shift a single thought, a perspective, a mindset and even a culture. It oftentimes opens our eyes to what we wish was different in our own lives and/or what comforts we are grateful to have that others do not. It motivates us to find ways to make a positive impact in our communities, whether that’s our neighborhoods, cities, countries, or even in our own organizations which we own or are employed by. 

I recently returned from three weeks in Europe and the United Kingdom with a fresh lens on customer experience — one that made me take pause on just how different it’s approached there. While certainly every business needs to make money, the sense of community appears to supersede that by way of ensuring humans are cared for like family or close friends, no matter who they are. This kind of “community experience” has led me to realize that even in the worst of global economic times, there are ways to approach customer experience in a more communal manner that will undoubtedly leave you with a higher ARR and a larger customer base.

Below are three of my most impactful experiences with a key takeaway from each. I hope even one of them inspires you to think differently.

1. Taking Great Care of Humans, as a Human, Leads to Increased ARR

My other half, Mike, and I sat down to breakfast at a café in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was our first full day there and we knew we needed to fuel up before our 10 miles of sightseeing (it sounds daunting to most, but super fun to us).

However, with me having Celiac, it’s sometimes difficult to find places that can or will accommodate me, as I have to ask for removal of ingredients, and/or the swapping out sides for something else, etc. In the United States, they are fairly accommodating on removal, but if I swap anything out, it’s always an additional charge (on top of the additional charges for requesting gluten-free dishes on the menu). That morning, I ordered as I usually would asking to remove a side I was allergic to. The waitress asked me what I wanted in place of it because “people should get their money’s worth.”

While I certainly didn’t need all that food, the fact that she, as well as the café, cared more about me getting everything I paid for than using it as an opportunity to upcharge me, was impactful. We went there the following morning as well because of that level of service and care. It proves that genuinely caring about people’s needs, as well as their experience, leads to an increased customer base, a large group of advocates and additional revenue.

Related Article: A Forgotten Customer Experience Art: Decency

2. When Employees Are Treated Well, It Leads to an Increase in Customers, Less Churn

That same evening, we went to a Michelin-star restaurant in a 16th century home (also a bed and breakfast). While I could go on and on about the impeccable service, food and the fact that we ate in a tower in the oldest part of the home; it’s something minor the host mentioned that stood out. As we were walking with him for a brief tour (I love history and architecture), we learned the restaurant owner owns two more Michelin-rated restaurants in Edinburgh, and the host worked at one of them for a few years. He said he took the position at the other one until one opened up at the restaurant we were dining at. He said that the staff loves the owner and the rest of the staff so much that many of them stay on for the majority of their career.

You could feel the sense of pride they all felt in working for him and that feeling is what prompted us to book one of their other restaurants for lunch the following day. It’s also because of this genuine pride that as we said goodbye to him, as well as the rest of the staff, we vowed we’d come back and stay as guests of the bed and breakfast.

It’s a lesson for us all that when we establish and foster a culture of care and respect within our organizations, others naturally gravitate toward it, wanting to be a part of it as much as possible. That sense of camaraderie, or community, leads to less churn, a growing customer base, and, certainly, growing revenue!

Related Article: Scenes From an Italian Restaurant: Great Customer Experience, Personalized Touch

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