The Art of Project Management: Expert advice from experienced project managers in Silicon Valley, and around the world

What’s the difference between good customer service and a good client experience?

Corporate Exiting Strategies for blooming entrepreneurs.

I was visiting my family over the weekend, and we got into a wave of conversation regarding unsatisfactory customer service. It didn’t matter whether we were talking about a software product, a technical support line, a retail issue, a car mechanic or other service issues; a displeased customer is a lost future client.

Many organizations and companies strive for good or excellent customer satisfaction ratings. While those are very good goals, they are low level steps. To leap your customer service to the superior or genius level, a different mindset it required. We need to focus on the Client Experience versus merely customer satisfaction.

So what exactly is the difference between good customer service and a good client experience? Aren’t they the same? Well, the major difference is relational. Looking at the person as a customer leads to the single sale. Providing a great client experience paves the way for repeat business with this client. Focusing on the overall client experience is building a long-term relationship. The results are not only repeat business from this person but referrals into other markets. Once you have the technique for creating consistent great client experiences (independent of the product, service or economic climate), you’re well on your way to Superior and even Genius Level Customer Experiences.

Once you have achieved the Genius Customer Experience Level, your client has now become an advocate or evangelist for your product or services. You have essentially created another salesman or marketer for your team.

There are typically 3 traps that service providers fall into that leads to ‘less than stellar’ performance. They are:
1) Prioritizing procedure above client
2) Defending the provider’s position
3) Ignoring the client’s skill set

In my Superior Client Experience Program, we dismantle all three traps. We also conduct mock client interviews and difficult client situations in order to practice our active (empathetic) listening skills and ‘diffusing difficult situation’ techniques. We share a type of Client Experience Maturity Model (modeled after the software industries CMM levels) as well as many useful tools.

Before I release you, there are three reminders that will exponentially improve your client experience. Those simple reminders are:
1) Your job (as a service provider) isn’t to make yourself feel good about your decisions …your job is to make them feel good about their decision.
2) Majority of difficult customer situations stems from a communication hiccup.
3) Integrity of service is rarely measured when things go well; but when things go astray.

For a quick chart on the Client Experience Maturity Model (5 levels of client experience growth) or a short video on the topic, please contact


About the Author

Laura is a Corporate Exit Strategist for the Blooming Entrepreneur. She is a certified business and personal life coach, specializing in time management skills, project management training and work/life balance strategies. She has been in the software and testing industry for over 20 years. She’s worked with such companies as IBM, Ericsson, Staples, Fidelity Investments and Sogeti in various client advocacy and project management roles. The techniques she uses in her business coaching and client advocacy work saved these companies both time and money, which resulted in on-time, quality product delivery with higher client satisfaction. Laura now uses her client focus, project, quality and people management skills in her personal life coaching career. As a personal life coach, she helps people transform their life by integrating their goals and dreams into their everyday lives. Laura uses creative and practical tools to help her clients realize what really matters to them. She helps others to easily transition into their next chapter whether it’s the next ladder of success within their corporate environment or into the entrepreneurial playground. I am not a fan of choosing to act in spite of fear. Rather, together we will collaborate toward a plan of inspired action. We will develop a plan together that you feel confident and excited about. For us, Taking The Leap will be magical, exhilarating and natural. If you are eager to take that next logical step but are unsure what it is signup for the Corporate Exit Strategy Coaching group. We have books, tapes, training materials, twice-monthly group coaching events, 3-day workshops, and individual coaching sessions to help you on your way toward your freedom and prosperity.
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