Today, I remind us to focus on creating a lasting customer experience. Ask yourself, “What is it like to experience our company, department, business, or division?” What is the experience our customers are receiving?”

As leaders, we are in control of the customer experience. I strongly believe that the experience starts with the first interaction with the customer. The interaction could be on the phone or in person. Whatever the situation, you will only have one attempt at creating a strong first impression.

I realize this is elementary and basic. It is: basics win championships. It is easy for us to overlook the first impression as we are focused on providing customer service. Of course, customer service is critical; I’m not discounting that at all. Just reminding us to pay close attention to what and how the first impression is delivered.

Many years ago, Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles wrote an all-time best-selling book, Raving Fans. The book’s premise is that a booming business requires more than having satisfied customers. The business must create a lasting customer experience that results in raving fans.

Customers, both external and internal, have these three questions for you:

  • Do you CARE about me?—or am I just another transaction?
  • Can I TRUST you? Will you follow through on promises? Are you consistent?
  • How will you HELP me? How will your product/ service make my life better?

It is helpful from time to time to bring your leadership team together and go through the following exercise:
I call it the ONE THING.

  • What is the one thing we could do to improve our initial customer engagement (first impression.) I remind you to refrain from asking if there is anything we can do. Ask an open-ended question.
  • What is the one differentiator we could improve on to distinguish us?
  • What is the one thing we want our customers to feel when they engage
  • with us?

These are just a few—you get the picture. I encourage you to develop more appropriate questions for your business. After all, we want customers to tell their stories about their experiences. That is what raving fans do.

If you like what you read, check out my book, Make Today Your Masterpiece.You’ll find many of these nuggets that you can start applying today.