The (good) customer experience

I know that the mission of companies is to sell their services / products and that without them there is no company. But it is not for nothing that companies invest more and more in the knowledge of their customers.

Any company that wants to be sustainable, grow and prosper knows that its source of survival is in the customer (broad sense). That is why more and more companies put customers first in the company's hierarchy, ahead of their own employees or shareholders.

What may seem strange to some, in this paradigm shift, is already normal for many others. Customer service is, as the expression itself indicates, the support that is provided before, during and after a deal with someone.

Much has been written on this topic. In such a way that we all know that without a client there is no business and that a good service experience, the relationship that is created, the proactivity, friendliness, among many other aspects, are essential for success. A satisfied customer believes in the company that provided the service and / or sold the product. He recommends it, acts as its ambassador, while at the opposite end there are no answers, wrong or inadequate answers, rolling and delaying it in time, frustrating the client and, not infrequently, irritating him even when he is right.

But let us focus on the companies that place the customer at the top of the pyramid and make a point, more than knowing that it is their priority, to make us feel this importance. Mercadona, which entered the retail sector of our country a few years ago, has its business oriented towards the 'Chief'. Do you know who this boss is? The client, who "is at the center of all company decisions (...) to offer solutions taking into account your needs".

Worldwide, there are many good examples in the treatment that is given to the customer, but I prefer to focus on the national companies that do it, because sometimes we tend to forget what is good here.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Viana do Castelo to spend the weekend at my in-laws' house and I don't even remember why, I had to go to the Darque Continent. It is not the first time I have been there and it was not the first time that I saw the excellent treatment given to customers.

This time, the episode was about cod. The fishmonger, realizing my ignorance of the different types of healing, approached me and, without asking, clarified me in less than a minute. I made the decision right there! I cut the fish into loins (fins apart, as they “get better”). I thanked and had the answer: “Well, that one. It's my job. ” Without knowing me from nowhere - the mask still makes these things more difficult - he said goodbye with a “I'm waiting for your feedback. When you come back, tell me if it was not good! ”.

In the same commercial space, they literally came after me because I had asked for a bread that was not there but that, in the meantime, was ready; they assumed the price of products with poorly marked prices or off-site without my having to say anything and always with the same answer: “the mistake was ours”.

But there are more places like this: the Nespresso stores, for example. The way we are received, education, the offer of coffee at the moment, and so on. When we go out with the coffees we wanted and needed, we took a few more because they suggest: “these are new and are in line with those you usually take”.

Finally, a space that I have known for many years and that has an absolutely exceptional customer service, even though it is a very large restaurant: Solar dos Presuntos, in Lisbon. More than the quality of the dishes (which are exceptional), it is important to talk about the staff. Even if for some reason we didn't want to, we are obliged to create a relationship with them. And we do it because they want to create a relationship with us! Offering the flower to our wife or something to the children; the games with our pronunciation, or else there is a slice of cheese from the starters and, in a brazen and fun way, they tell us: “Don't tell me you didn't like it?”

I know that the mission of companies is to sell their services / products and that without them there is no company. But it is not for nothing that companies invest more and more in the knowledge of their customers. MBA's, for example, have Marketing chairs where they teach the importance of a good customer experience. And they do it because it is really important. What really matters is not whether we sell a cork or a Ferrari, or even a cleaning service. From the neighborhood grocery store, with the merchant's friendliness and honesty, to the multinational giant that studies, in the smallest detail, ways to guide its customers and follow their journey, the secret lies in the trust and satisfaction that this relationship brings. The rest is conversation.

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