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Customer Experience Consulting – How does your business rate?

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customer serviceCustomer Experience Consulting– How does your business rate?

Note:  This article was originally written before the covid employee shortage crisis, but the principles of customer service and the customer experience still apply.  It is just harder for businesses now to achieve a good customer experience with staffing shortages, but still extremely important.  Especially in this retail climate.

Customer Service Definition

Customer service is a term much more used and familiar in the business area.  Customer service definition from Wikipedia – “Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”.  So this is what your customer sees and feels when they are interacting with your employees.

Customer Experience definition

This is a great way to look at customer experience

Customer experience definition from Wikipedia – “Customer experience is a totality of cognitive, affective, sensory, and behavioral consumer responses during all stages of the consumption process including pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase stages.”  This is their whole experience, from finding you, your website, your employees, and customer service, how they feel about your company, how they feel about what they purchased from you, your image/brand, and more.

Customer Service vs Customer Experience

As a customer experience company, I’m going to try to explain the difference between the two.  They are not the same thing, but they are definitely related.  The difference between the two is that customer service is just one piece of the puzzle (how you treat your customer – the interaction and support).  Customer experience is the whole experience, the entire journey of your customer.  As you can see, the whole experience is very important.

Customer Service Examples

I’d like to share our customer service experience on a day out shopping, looking at it as a customer experience consultant.  As someone in the customer experience consulting business, who seems to not ever be able to turn the customer service coaching off, I’m sharing this as it is SO important in your business to give your customers “WOW” customer service.

We stopped at Paso Robles on the way down to Morro Bay.  I was really looking forward to wandering the town as the map showed several wine-tasting rooms, and we love wandering downtown tourist areas.  We are always looking for unique, fun small businesses.  From my research, this was what I was expecting: from

customer service experience“Taste some wines, stay and dine, and have a fine time … in downtown Paso Robles!  Over 12 wineries downtown.

Situated in the heart of the Paso Robles American Viticultural Area in California wine country, find out why Paso Robles is being hailed as the state’s next up-and-coming wine region. Coined “Wine Region of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast as its 2013 Wine Star Award winner, discover why tourists and visitors from across the nation are calling Paso their go-to wine destination. With more than 15 wineries situated downtown to suit your wine-tasting needs, come and meet the winemakers, mingle with the farmers, shop, dine, and taste some wine in downtown Paso Robles!”

What we found

We were a bit disappointed to find out that some of the businesses are closed on Tuesdays (the day we were there) and others didn’t open until 3 pm – long after we left to go check into our campground.  This was the week after Christmas, vacation time in the tourist world.  But there were a few open and we checked them out.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps there is a large evening customer base.

Trying to find help

We first found the Visitors Center and asked for some recommendations.  She didn’t really have any, and couldn’t find an easy map to follow, but I was able to find out the area to walk to.  I think the visitors center needs help from a customer experience specialist!

I was given a suggestion of one local winery as fun.  She said when you walk into their tasting room, it was like walking into Alice in Wonderland, following the rabbit theme, including the gifts offered for sale.  Great idea!  We headed there.  When we were in the tasting room, there was only one person there, and the employee (or owner?).  I walked up to the bar and wasn’t even acknowledged.  Even after standing there for a few minutes.   At that point, I decided I wasn’t going to beg them to take my money. Customer Service Experience – 0.  They definitely needed customer service and customer experience improvement.  We left and continued on our adventure.

Customer Service Examples … And business owners wonder why they aren’t getting enough sales? 

We then walked into another tasting room.  I was looking forward to the California label theme I saw advertised.  This wine-tasting room, which was open (at least the door was), had no one there in the bar.  I waited a few minutes and tried to call out to the room in the back, but no response.  Again, customer service – 0.  We left and continued on our adventure.

Good Customer Experience

Then I found a friendly and fun tasting room – my favorite in the area –Pianetta Winery.  Not only did they greet me with a friendly smile, but they were also great at explaining their tasting.  In one of my “tests” as a customer service consultant, I stated that I would return later.  Sometimes people are grumpy about that, but not these fun girls.  They were still upbeat and friendly.  They invited me back.

So I did return after grabbing a bite to eat, and our server was great.  I truly enjoyed the experience.  And bought their 2014 Pianetta Sangiovese.  Isn’t that what selling is all about?  As a customer service consultant, this was 5-star customer service and customer experience!

The area as seen from a customer experience consulting business perspective

Customer service in retail is so important! This downtown area had several unique gift stores, and a couple of them were very friendly.  The local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory had a real sweet girl working there.  There were still a couple of other stores that didn’t even acknowledge us when we walked in.  How hard is it to say hi?  It is so hard not to approach these employees and give them a little customer service coaching!

How does your business’s customer service rate?  Are you or your employees too busy to help your customers?  Are you closed when they are trying to buy?  Do you need to work with a customer experience consulting business to fix things?  Take a look at how your business is conducted.  There might be issues you need to address.

Customer Experience Strategy

Why customer experience matters – Why is customer experience important?  As you can see from the above scenarios, there were a few businesses that day that lost sales.  It didn’t take much to give a better customer experience, but they did not do so.  What is your strategy? A few things to look at:

  • Customer experience best practices – set these up for your employees and make sure they are followed.
  • Do you make it easy for your customer to purchase from you?
  • Does your customer have to deal with negative experiences?
  • Does your customer have to wait too long to be acknowledged?

Great customer experience can make the difference between your business just doing ok or excelling.  You need to work with your employees and make sure they all have customer experience training.

Bad Customer Experience

The impact of a bad customer experience is huge!  Not only do they not recommend you to their friends, family, and social circle, but they tell all of them of their bad experiences – online and in person.  And sometimes there is no way of getting rid of that bad review online once it is posted for all to see.

According to, when customers are unhappy, there is a 91 percent chance they won’t do business with you again.  Dissatisfied customers typically tell 9-15 other people about their experience.

Looking at a business through a customer service consultant’s eyes, I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to track down the manager or owner and explain to them how they need to fix things.

What is a Customer Service Consultant and What are a Customer Service Consultant’s duties?

In trying to explain What does a Customer Service Consultant do?, this could vary by job.  We need to take a look at your issues, your customers, your business, your website, your social media, and what you want to accomplish.  We look at your customer feedback.  Then a plan tailored to you and your business will be set up for you.

Customer Experience Consulting Firm

Customer experience coaching is a passion of mine, and I love to share my experiences with the hopes of business owners taking a look at their own business and identifying what they might be able to change in order to increase their sales.  Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make the sale.  We look for customer experience solutions and help you give your customers the best customer experience.

We are a bit different than the big firms.  We work directly with you, the small business owner to determine the best route to improve your customer experience.  We are not a big firm that churns out an automated report for you to follow.  We personally experience your business and make suggestions.  Give us a call and we can discuss your business’s customer experience.

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