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First off, if you were like me you probably are thinking what the heck is the difference between customer service and customer experience? To some extent, they are the same but they also carry some major differences.

The most obvious point is the Proactive VS Reactive element. Customer Service is a very reactive approach. For instance, a customer calls a company, they have a complaint, and is handled accordingly. Sure the company may have resolved the complaint and the customer is happy for the moment but what could they have done to prevent the issue?

You see Customer Experience embodies the word proactive. A company that uses the customer experience approach is looking for ways to prevent problems, ways to go the extra mile, and ways to think about what the customer wants before they even know what they want. Are you still with me here? GOOD!

So I am going, to be honest. Good Old customer service techniques are played out. You can’t win against your competitors with that tired strategy. It's time to elevate your customers

EXPERIENCE to a level that makes you and your business stand out from the rest.

Let me give you an example. A few months ago it was my wedding anniversary and boy was I unenthused. Mostly because I was so used to hubby and I traveling for our anniversaries. Since we had just had our son a couple of months prior, traveling was out of the question. So we were left with doing something in our hometown, which ended up being making dinner reservations.

I logged on to open table and tried to find a restaurant with good reviews and more of an upscale environment. That was when I came across Flemings Steakhouse. Not thinking much I booked reservations and move along with my day.

When the day finally came for us to go out. I was still not excited and really just trying to make the best out of it. We arrived and immediately walked inside and the host asked our names. I let them know our names and advised them we had reservations. She pulled up the reservations and immediately smiled and said Happy Anniversary. It slipped my mind that there was a section that asked if this was a special occasion and I wrote down that it was our anniversary. Anyway, she directed us to our table where they had decorated our table with rose petals, glitter, lit candles and a card with a handwritten note inside that thanked us for choosing them to spend our special day with. Once we were seated our server quickly came to our table congratulated us on our special day and promised that he had everything lined up to make the special day even more special. He took our orders and provided the best service throughout. Constantly checking on us, small talking with us about our special day, suggesting the best wines, and then bringing several bottles over to do taste tests just to make sure we picked the perfect one. I ordered my usual go-to, twin lobsters and when the lobsters arrive they came with butter over a device that had a lit fire under it the entire time we were there. The thought that was put into making the effort to have continuous hot butter for your lobster was another PROACTIVE element. Then they brought out the cute plate with the dessert that said happy anniversary. Usually, the deserted plate is the highlight of the night, and restaurants usually start and end with that. Eventually, it was time to wrap everything up but not before the server walked over to the table with a box of gourmet chocolates for our special day. We were in awe. Everything in our experience was amazing. We had not received great customer service we had received a great customer experience. We have visited several restaurants since then and each one my husband will tell you that I compare to Flemings. The things they did were small but the detail and thought process they put in to make sure the experience was great was the reason that they are the best restaurant I have ever visited. With that great experience came a desire for me to return, a wonderful review left on the open table, and constant bragging about how great our experience was to anyone who will listen (free promo).

Next time you are going over your customer service strategy, take some pointers from this story hear and ask yourself. How will I set myself apart? What will make my customer's experience worthy of wanting to spend their hard-earned money again?

Now if you are struggling with customer service overall and need pointers and examples check out my video below and see why good customer service = more sales.

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