October 26, 2015 Rodney Cowled

The Power of a Positive Customer Experience

I’m writing this from the back of an Uber, as I wait for my Handy cleaner to finish cleaning my apartment. I’m planning to be home soon as I have an Instacart shopper dropping off the week’s groceries. I’ve just finished booking the most incredible AirBNB for our upcoming trip to San Francisco…

Welcome to the world of the sharing economy. 

As these big brands outsource their biggest asset (customer experience) to relative strangers (my Uber driver), the risk factor of customer satisfaction goes through the roof.

Today is a story about when things go bad and how the best businesses do something about it.

My story starts a month ago, when I booked an Uber to get to a work meeting. My Uber driver turned up minutes later…with a friend in the car (strike 1), a car that literally had no suspension (strike 2) and refused flatly to turn on the AC despite the fact it was pushing 40degrees (strike 3). As I sweated in the backseat, he and his friend enjoyed their particular choice of loud jams (strike 4) and proceeded to miss my turn 3 times, despite my yelling.

Since Uber invited me to “Rate my Trip”, I decided to tell them a few things about the experience. Thinking nothing of it, I was surprised to receive an apology email 20 minutes later, from an actual human (hi Beth!), promising to discuss my feedback with the driver. Beth & Uber also refunded my trip cost.

What can we learn from Uber & my new friend Beth?

How to Create a Positive Customer Experience.

Ask for feedback. The alternative here is me having a bad experience and never using Uber again. However, by giving me the opportunity to tell them how things went, I feel heard

If you ask for feedback, do something with it. By do something, we’re not talking about sending a generated email from MailChimp. If a customer took the time to tell you what they’re thinking/feeling/seeing, you should take the time to respond.

Make it personal. Remember Beth? I sure do. Make your customers experience with your business a personal one.

Make it better. Refunding money might qualify as a “lost sale” for you, but that one loss might secure you future sales from that dissatisfied customer. Uber has me for life now. It cost them $14 but since I average 3 – 5 rides a week, I’m pretty sure they’re making it back.

What do you think? Have you experience great customer service that’s made you love a brand of company? I’d love to hear your stories.