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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 8, 2018 2 years ago

Customer experience — not service — is the new battleground

A new series of leadership development classes focuses on customer loyalty.

Forget the customer is always right.

Of course, she is. But the new new thing in generating repeat business from clients is customer experience. That’s the “next battlefield,” says Paul King, founder of Rockaway Park, N.Y.-based Orion Development Group. Orion, in partnership with the Eckerd College Leadership Development Institute in St. Petersburg, is offering a series of customer experience training programs this summer. “Customer satisfaction surveys are nice,” adds King, “but those aren’t enough to create great customer loyalty.”

Eckerd, in conjunction with Orion, works with leaders at any level of an organization, according to a statement, to “enhance efficiency, improve customer satisfaction and drive growth.” The Leadership Development Institute was founded in 1980.

Its summer classes, scheduled for July 24-July 27, include Transforming the Customer Experience and Creating a Customer-Centric Culture. The curriculum includes how to meld innovation with process and how to use empathy and intimacy to foster loyalty and referrals. It’s a disruptive shift, says King, to put the customer experience above simply looking at price and value ratios. “You have to get rid of preconceived notions,” says King.

In promoting the summer sessions, Orion staff prepared a list of customer experience data points — nuggets that should resonate with any business owner or executive. The list includes:

• It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience;

• Seven out of 10 buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated;

• More than nine out of 10, or 91% of customers who had a bad customer experience won’t do business with your company again.





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