The Customer Experience Strategy

Episode 48


About The Show

A Customer Experience Strategy is one of the most critical things you can have in your business. Gone are the days of just providing great customer service. Your customers are now more informed than ever when they engage with your business.

In Episode 48 we go through examples of how the little things can zap the overall customer experience in your business without you even realise it’s happening!

What You'll Learn!

  • The difference between good customer service and creating an exceptional customer experience.
  • Why creating an exceptional customer experience in your business is crucial to building long term success in your business.
  • How to build and implement an exceptional customer experience in your business.

Links Mentioned

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Full Episode Transcript

(0:00) Jason Skinner: You’re on episode 48 of The Business Made Easy podcast. Let’s to this
Mia: [Background music] You’re on The Business Made Easy podcast where we make business
easy. He’s your host, Jason Skinner.
Jason Skinner: G,day, g’day and welcome to The Business Made Easy podcast where we make
business easy. Jason Skinner, you’re host here for another week of the podcast which is all
about making business easy for you. Fast tracking your success and putting more money in
your back pocket as a result as well. I hope you’re doing well out there. It’s, uh, we got a great
episode today. We’re gonna be talking about a topic that is so, I’m so so passionate about and
I’m seeing more and more of it. The more passionate I get about it, the more I’m noticing it in
business that I deal with on a day to day basis and uh, we are going to be sharing, I’m gonna be
sharing a story with you. A real life story that I actually just experienced that highlights what
I’m talking about just beautifully and my wife, Melissa, had a similar experience just recently as
well, um, both centering about car, car yeah, of car repair shops and dealership actually but I
won’t spoil it but before we get into today’s episode, um, I just want to remind you that if you
haven’t joined our free Facebook community yet, you can do that by going over to
It’s a free community of business owners over there that are sharing ideas and, um, swapping
stories and sharing pains and you know everyone’s helping each other over there. I really love
the community over there. It’s growing beautifully and what I do love in particular is this all
passionate business owners wanting to make a difference and help each other as well and
advice to each other. I’m over there as well answering any questions that you might have so
check it out at Businessmadeeaypodcast.com/community and yeah I’d love to see you over
there and hear about your story in business, what you’re doing and also while I’ve got you, if
you, uh, before, just before we get into show, if you do have
a question that you want answered in business, be sure to go over to the website at
Businessmadeeasypodcast.com and hit that red record button and we’ll answer your question
on the show and give, help everyone with your question as well. So yeah by going and asking
that question you know, you’re not just helping yourself, you’re helping other people that ah
maybe having the same problem as well.
Alrighty, let’s get into today’s show. I want to talk about the area in business called customer
experience. Just a bit of background, customer experience is different to just customer service.
Customer experience goes a lot, lot deeper and what I want, at the end of today’s episode, I
really want you to have a good understanding of what I’m talking about when we’re talking
about customer experience in business. If we just go back of it, it used to be the old adage that
you know, if you gave great customer service then the customers would keep coming back and
that was the way, I mean when I grew up, you know that was always the thing. It ran at the
dinner table that “Oh, that business gave great customer service” and Mom and Dad did talk
about the business because they gave great customer service and when you walk into a shop,
you could feel when you’re getting good customer service or not, but the environments
changed and it’s it actually evolves a lot more beyond customer service now and what we are
actually experience is a complete customer experience. What that means, why that’s
happened? I believe it’s firstly the involvement, um, of the digital internet technology and space
that we walk in now, the e-commence environment, um, Google. We have so much available to
us in terms of research. Customers now are so researched when they, um, when they come into
your, into your business whether it be online or physical. It doesn’t matter what sort of business
that is your customers. When they come in to your business, they know what they want, they
know what color, shapes, size, I mean they’re pretty well researched and all of the varieties, all
sorts of things like that. Um, they, they improcessed, they know the complete thing. So the only
thing that really differentiates you, between you and your competitor is the experience. From
the very moment they engage with your brand. That journey that they go on from that very
point in time is when that customer experience starts and goes all the way through and it
doesn’t stop once it just transacted with you, it keeps going. So it’s becoming more, more
difficult for business owners that are doing it well, uh, sorry, not so much as doing it well but
business owners that, um you’re in that space, you’re used to giving good customer service.
They’re wondering what the hell is going on now, why, why um, why is this not enough anymore
and that is why because your customers can see straight that it’s so small on the customer right
down now. And if you think about the types of businesses out there that are commodity– what
I call commodity type businesses. So you, you’re supplying something that is pretty well every
day of the meal. It’s nothing overly unique between your product and the product down the
road and if we take into you know, my favorite one is always, um, pool cleaning, a pool cleaning
business. I pick on the pool cleaning because we have a pool cleaning come here and, um, and
I’m [chuckles] never overly satisfied with the approach but anyhow, I’m picking on pool cleaning
because it is, it’s a fairly commodity business. It’s not a lot of, a pool is a pool and it’s not a great
deal of variation between one person coming to clean your pool and the other person coming
to clean your pool because the only thing that can differentiate them is the experience that I
have with them because, um, you know the pool stays clean and it looks good. How do I know
the difference between the two?
There’s many, many other business out there like that, um, accounting
which I mean is one such business, you know there’s not a lot of difference between a one tax
returner and then other tax returner. Yeah, the numbers might vary a little bit but really in
terms of the customer’s eyes, if I’m coming in to get a tax return down, I’m satisfying uh, a
problem that I have. i.e, I need to get my tax done and I want as big a refund as possible and um,
that might be a bit of differentiator but generally people want, um, their tax down. They want
that pain to go away. They wanna satisfy the government obligations and want that pain to go
away and there are many, many, many other examples of that.
Lawn mowing is another one, um, storage sheds, uh, there’s– ugh look, a lot of different things
come to mind in terms of um, the types of services and products that can be a commodity type
business. So customer experience to you now is more important than ever to get right because
that is what welds that person to keep coming back because they’ve got so much choice now
and they can research so much on the internet and they can shop from one to the other um, you
know, it really is um, the experience and your brand or behind your brand that builds your
brand that um, that really matters. I want to take you through a bit of a couple of stories and
that now I must provide of a disclaimer here, this is not a whinge fest, I’m not whingeing here at
all. I’m not complaining or anything like that. It’s more the lesson that I want you to take away
from, from these stories that I share with you when I talk about customer experience. Because
the thing with customer experience is you can believe all you like that you are giving a great
customer experience but you know, it’s not you that judges that, it’s the customer at the end of
the day. You might be thinking that you’ve put all the things in place and all your people know
exactly what gonna happen but, but do you really know the
full extent of what is going on underneath and and the way your um, your customers are being
looked after. Now one of the example that I had just recently, actually it was just this week, and
I had to go and take my car in to get a brand new battery and it had been on the blink for some
time so and I knew that I was gonna have an early morning, um, where the car wouldn’t start. So
there’s bit of precautionary maintenance but it going um, those things always happen, you
know when you’re running late and you uh, you gotta jump and you get stressed and you gotta
go and jump for your car and your car won’t start so I would hate that to happen. So I have
thought I better book the car and get a, get um, get the battery changed. So I took it into my uh,
where I bought the car, my local car dealer. And I won’t mention any names or brands or
anything like that just to protect but um, I mean this is a nice car yard and really nice, uh, they
were really nice people, professional etc. and then, I mean they got cafe in the car yard and all
sort of things. I was on holidays um, I was on holidays just last week. So I had a bit of time and I
would normally get drop off to work but I thought now what I’ll do is, I’ll take my laptop in with
me and I’ll do a bit of work in their cafe because it’s only a battery after all. It’s not gonna take
too long to change and I’ll be on my way. I’ll sit and have a coffee for a while and, and we’ll be all
good. So I took the car in and I’m all set. The service lady came over to me and sat me down and
said “Oh, Mr. Skinner we’re gonna change your battery today etc.” I said “Yep, that’s great.
Thank you.” and I said “Do you mind if I just wait in the cafe?” and well that happens you know
“Is it going to take very long?” and she said “Oh no, it should only take an hour um, hour to two
hours’ tops”. Um, apparently they got to do some programming these days you know, the
fandangled technology. So anyway, I said “That’s fine. Great! That’s fantastic. I’ll wait in the cafe
if you could please
just come and let me know when it’s ready. I’ll um, I’ll be on my way.” So, off I went and she
went with my kit, my car and um, I sat there having a coffee and expecting that after probably
about an hour to two hours, probably two hours, that she would come and collect me and say
“Hey Mr. Skinner, your car is ready” Now I went in it 8:30 in the morning and about, what is it,
say 2 hours it’s maybe 10:30, it was about 11:30 so it’s 3 hours into the sitting, I hadn’t heard
anything um, I saw her come to the counter a few times and get a coffee herself and um, off she
went said hello and went on. So I thought it must’ve been 2 files [inaudible] to them. So we were
then um, it was then two or three and a half hours into the sitting there, winding off “I better
just go and check. They might have forgotten me” So I went off to um, to get, to find my lady and
I found her and tracked it down and anyway um, the lady said to me “I’ll come, I’ll get um, Sam
to come and see” I said “Fine, that’s great” So I waited a bit longer. So it was about four hours
into my waiting now and then finally, I saw her walking past. She wasn’t coming to get me. She
was walking past on another man and I pulled her up and said “Hey, just checking. Is my car
nearly ready? It’s been four hours. It was going to be two hours and um, it’s still not ready.” and
she said “Oh, I’m sorry” she said “It’ll be probably another half an hour because we didn’t have
the battery in stock. We had to send a way to get it delivered from our other place, which
happens to be some uh, ninety kilometers away. So, now that’s one story and I’ll give you–
before I get into, um, the break down of that story, my wife had a similar thing
with taking her car in to get service. Not at the same place, it’s a different garage but she
actually had a phone call to say “Mrs. Skinner, your car is all ready to go. Feel free to come down
and collect it anytime you’re ready.” So she left work uh, got a lift down to the car yard to pick
the car up and when she got down there, the car actually was another hour of being ready. So
she actually sat in the reception area for an hour um, after being told um, an hour and a half
prior that that the car was ready. Now, these sorts of situation are what I’m talking about when
I talk about customer experience. Because here’s the thing, if we go to my story firstly, the car
battery um, is a fairly standard car battery. I mean I could go anywhere to probably get the car
battery put into any battery place, I’m sure they’d be able to feed the battery. But I always go to
my chosen car dealer because that’s where I bought the car and I like to have the service
records and everything in place and they have a cafe, a nice cafe. Their premises are all done
nicely um, the staff are friendly and all that’s going on, and every element was in detail. But one
thing they caught, they set an expectation in my mind as the customer that it was going to be
two hours and that’s the big lesson out of this, is that if you set an expectation, that is creating
the customer experience. That’s what I’m talking about. I’m talking about customer experience.
It’s one of the key elements, that expectations that the customer has that they’re going to get
from your business and um, you know, the mechanics– the thing with this is that the mechanics
were doing a good job I believe. The battery hasn’t fired and everything seems to work okay but
they’re out there doing a good job um, every you know, the lady on reception
who took my booking initially, she was doing a good job but here I am talking about the wait
and the exceeded expectation that I had in my head and the lack of communication that I had in
that particular part of the experience. Now don’t think I’m being unreasonable because you
know, I have a four hours when it was going to be two hours’ tops um, with no communication is
really, really I think you know, just not the done deal. And not the way to um, to I guess enhance
or make that customer experience better. The better thing for her to do would be to come up to
me within that first two hours she set that expectation, come up to me within that first two
hours and actually say, “Mr. Skinner, I know I said two hours but we had to organize another
battery because yours is a particular one. We needed to get it down from our other workshop
and it’s going to be lot longer than I first anticipated. Could I drop you somewhere? Could I
make arrangements for you to go and bring the car to you when you’re finished?” All those sort
of things could actually open up in that space so tiny one, what I’m– it’s, I guess, what I’m
getting at here, it’s the little things that make a difference in your customer experience. It’s not
um, it’s not the, “Aye, we put batteries in, we got great batteries and we put them in really well
and the customer’s always happy because we got the best batteries.” I don’t know if they’re
good batteries or not to be honest. I really don’t but I do know the experience that I had and I
do know that I’m going to be remembering that experience the next time I go back if I go back
because I’ve got choices. I can go, as I said earlier, there are many choices where I can go now to
get that same battery put into my car. So I hope I’m making that point that customer experience
comes down to the little things at every particular step of the way that your um,
customer goes through when they’re dealing with your business. Now another one I give to you
um, well, before we got into that to set the expectation is a critical one. If you set an
expectation of two hours, you deliver it in an hour and a half. If it’s gonna take two hours to
actually deliver, then you set the expectation at two and a half hours. So whatever you set that
expectation, you want to under promise and over deliver, that’s what the customer remembers.
And then if you can over deliver with added value even more um, that’s even better. So, to use
my example, if um, they say the batteries going to be two hours to be put in, then you know
maybe they would um, as an example if you’re in business and doing this sort of thing, you
might be able to go, “Okay, here’s the, uh, I deliver the services within an hour and a half and
your car’s been washed and it’s all clean and ready to go as well. It takes five minutes to give the
car away once in turns to wash but it looks– they can spend– the customer feels better when
they get in the car because the car– I don’t know about you but I always find my car gets better
when it’s washed and clean. I don’t know might be my psychological thing but the car always
seem to get better when it’s clean and say “We’re not just put the battery, give the car a bit of a
wash up once over” Um, now I didn’t skimp on the– I didn’t, I didn’t question the price of the
battery you know even if you put um, you know an extra ten dollars on the cost, twenty dollars
on the cost of the battery to wash the car you know. I wouldn’t know as the customer but I
would know how I felt when I got the car back and I got in the car. The other thing that I’ll– so
set that expectation correctly and communication. Communication with your customer, no
matter who they are is absolutely paramount to your customer experience.
You cannot over communicate with your customer and when I’m talking about communication,
I’m not talking about “Oh yes. We got auto sequence of emails that goes after saying “Hey Mr.
Skinner, your car’s booked in”, “Hey Mr. Skinner, were looking forward to see you tomorrow”,
“Hey Mr. Skinner” I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about one-on-one human
communication. You cannot uh, I guess automate the value of a one-on-one communication.
Um, I just believe that that personal touch at every step of the way no matter what business
you are in and even just a courtesy phone call once you have had the um, implemented the
service or whatever, whatever the customer service. In my example, I’ve just put my– had my
battery done. A phone call, a quick phone call the next day that say, “Hey Mr. Skinner, just
checking to make sure that you had your battery put in your car. Just making sure everything is
okay with your car.” “Wow! They care” I would be saying. That’s the sort of thing, that’s the
level I’m talking about if you want to exceed your customer’s expectation because it’s out of the
blue. No one else is doing it and it’s exceeding the– so um, look, you know, I can count on what
the main examples um, the pool cleaner again if you like. The lawn mowing, the lawn mowing
guy um, mowing the lawns um, you know you could, as in lawn mowing business, if I had a lawn
mowing business, the first thing I would do is I would have a complimentary fertilizing service
as part of it. So, what if you actually had your lawn mowing business and you um, went up to, to
your customers and said “Hey um, Mrs. Jones um, I’ve come to mow your lawn today. I’ve notice
that it’s looking a little bit off color and um, there’s rain forecast or um, I’ve got a particular
fertilizer here that won’t burn your lawn but um, if we put it down now when the rain comes,
everything will lay green up nicely for you and it’s complimentary. How would that be for you?”
Now I don’t know what a bit of fertilizer on your lawn is going to cost but I do know this, that
when you fertilize lawns, they grow and they grow well and they grow green and they look
good and then all of the sudden people saying “Wow! Your lawn looks good. Who mows your
lawn?” or “Who looks after your lawn?” and she goes, you know that’s when that customer
expectation, customer experience goes from just getting your lawn mowed to “I love my lawn
mowing guy” you know or girl, um, you know “I love my pool cleaning person” you know. I just
know that um, they always bring up the next day to make sure that the pool color hasn’t
changed as a result of the chemical they’ve put in or whatever it is um, or you know, we believe
or, “Just a suggestion for you Mr. Skinner, we notice this around the edge of the pool uh, it
would really serve you well if we did xyz” you know. “Wow!”, all of a sudden you’re seeing this
care come through as opposed to just um,”Coming to clean the pool, see you later, get the bill”
um, you know that, I hope I’m making my point there. The other thing we’ve um, did I had with
my car experience was that um, when I went to pay, so after waiting four hours or five, it was
five hours actually and you know everything was friendly and everything like that but then you
go and sit down to pay your bill and they get though the bill with you, which is fine so no
problem, I expect to pay the bill. So she says “And how would you like to pay for that?” so I’m
like “Ill just pay with my uh, credit card.” Now, I think it was like four hundred and something
dollars. In the end they had to do a couple of things and I handed over my credit card and she is
“Oh, there’s a 1.7% charge for credit cards”. Now again customer experience, what’s the last
thing I remember? The add on at the end. Why not make instead the bill was 400 hundred and
let’s call of 450 dollars,
Why not make the bill 455 dollars and I’m not a wiser and I still feel totally okay. I don’t feel like
I had an additional charge at the end. If there’s one thing that gets really up my nose is adding
credit card surcharges to bills. They do it at the Hilton um, sorry to name them but they’re
classic at it. When you go to pay your bill and you got to use your credit card, it’s a hotel. It’s a
hotel and when you go to use your credit card, they charge you of extra percentage on top of
your bill. It’s supposed to be a luxury hotel um, again this is not a rant. This is about customer
experience and it’s got– and as you can see these things are nothing to do with customer
services. The services being fine. The service from the staff at the hotel is beautiful. I love them.
They’re great but um, the service of my car yard is great except they could have communicated.
Um, my wife’s experience you know instead of um, you know bringing up and saying “Hey” and
make sure the car’s ready, make sure your systems are sound enough that you know that that
car is washed, cleaned, finished, sitting there in the driveway, keys in it, ready to go when that
lady or that person comes to collect their car and their experience is “Wow! I really love going
here. It’s seamless” and I guess that’s another keyword you can use um, when you, I guess the
two words I would use in these uh, and I’m lucky to take away from this episode is um, care.
Your customers need to feel you care. You can scale if you like and there is a number of– there’s
a lot of discussion and material out there in the market place at the manor about scaling and
automation and bots and all those things. They are good, scaling and automation is fantastic for
procedures and I guess checklist and um,
and that type of things. So any of that sort of um, black and white stuff that you have to do,
those sort of um, automations and scalings are good for creating capacity for you to look after
your customer relationship better, which means your personal involvement. You cannot, I
believe you cannot um, systemize your way out of that customer um, experience. You can
certainly make, use the systems to make sure things happen within but that your team um, if
you got staff, your team all needs to be on board with this and they need to understand what a
customer experience is and the type of customer experience you want your customers to have
in your business when they come. Everyone needs to be on board with this. It’s not enough for
management to go “We just want to deliver a great customer experience. Here’s the system
we’re gonna follow.” The staff need to actually understand and your team need to understand
exactly what that is as well. So um, a little bit of rag down. I’m getting off track a little bit but
you just need to make sure that you uh, understand the difference between I guess the key
takeaway for today is, you understand the difference between customer service and customer
experience um, and get delivering customer experience, you wanna make sure communication
with your customer is sound and um, free flowing and caring and your customer feels like you
care because they do have a choice. They have lots of choices and they got the internet as well
now which is a even bigger choice. That’s why so many business struggle. They underestimate
the power of the internet, how educated their customer actually are now. And you wanna make
sure that um, you’re not creating obstacles for your customers. They can easily transact with
you. They don’t have surcharges for using you know, they’re paying a five hundred dollar bill
with a credit card well, no one has five hundred dollar cash
just in their pocket. I mean charging an extra percentage on credit card for using a credit card,
just lose percentage adage. Um, and you wanna make sure that um, you’re adding value at
every point of the transaction and adding a wow factor to every step of it, every step of the way
because you know, your customer might be just getting their pool cleaned or getting their lawn
mowed or whatever it is. Um, but you can show them that it’s more than just that. You’ve got
the power to show them that “I’m giving you more than just what you’re looking for here. I’m
giving you a complete experience in dealing this and you didn’t realize just how good that
experience could be.” And that’s my message for you today. Focus on your customer experience
in your business. Make it the best it can be. It doesn’t have to cost you money. This is the thing
with it. It doesn’t have to cost you money. In actual fact, your pricing structure could actually
accommodate the little extra trimming and that sort of thing in there if you know, yes you
might be a little bit slightly dear than the guy down the road but geez, it’s a wow factor when
you actually um, when you actually deal with your business and your brand as opposed to the
people down the road.
So I hope that helps you and um, I’d love to have your feedback on customer experience and
things that you’ve had experience within your business uh, or businesses that you’ve dealt with.
So drop me a line at [email protected] and uh, let me know uh, what your
thoughts are on customer experience and how you’ve um, had some good ones and bad ones.
I’d love to hear your feedback. So, until next week. I’m gonna hand you over to Mia. Thanks so
much for joining me. If you enjoyed this episode, feel free to go over to Apple um, to iTunes and
leave a review. I’d love to have your feedback or even drop me, as I said drop me an email to
[email protected] I always love hearing from our listeners and what
they’ve been up to in business and
how you feel about your customer experience as well. Okay I’m gonna hand you over to Mia.
Until next week. Here’s to your success and take us out Mia.
Mia: Thanks Jason. [background music] You’ve been listening to The Business Made Easy
podcast, where we make business easy.

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