I’m not a big fan of clichés that attempt to represent a concept that someone felt was new and in need of a snappy expression to capture its essence. One expression that I very much do like, however, is “customer experience.” When you think about what this one is trying to say, you realize that it’s exactly what you should be considering before someone walks into your office.

People base their behaviors on what they’ve experienced. For example, a child has no fear of being burned by severely hot water running from the bathroom sink until he has experienced being scalded by it. If you’ve never been really poor, you honestly don’t know how it feels, how to deal with it, and how to struggle your way out of it. That’s why many people who have emerged from poverty and become successful value everything they own.

Let’s take the “experience” concept into your office. What do people know about you? Before they get to your office, all they know is what they experience through your advertising and word-of-mouth. Once they’re in your office, what they know about you they pick up from visual clues and the interactions they have with you and your staff. The sum of these impressions represents their customer experience.

Since a customer’s only perception of you is going to be their individual experience, it’s critical that you engineer every aspect of that experience so that they receive the kind of customer experience you want them to have. Too often, offices feel they’re doing a good job and providing good products and services so they don’t concern themselves with crafting a first-class customer experience. That’s a mistake because too many things can create adverse impressions when you’re not crafting the scenario.

The simplest way to develop an exceptional customer experience is to take three or four people you know and put them through your office’s routine with the understanding that they’ll provide you feedback. Have a checklist of things for them to consider and have them complete the questionnaire as soon as they’ve completed the entire process. How long did it take them to check in? How long did it take to see the doctor once they were checked in? What impression did your office project to them? Did they feel pressured to buy eyewear? Were they given alternatives? Were they educated by the doctors or did they feel like the doctor was pushing products on them? The more comprehensive you make the list, the more information you’ll get from it.

Don’t let a customer’s experience fall to chance. Carefully craft and implement the experience you want them to have. It’s how the big players win the game.

e-mail me at


Leave A Reply