Our fearless leader, Alan Jones, was recently a guest on the very first broadcast of Customer Experience Radio Show hosted by Jill Heineck of Heineck & Company and accompanied by Mike Wittenstein of StoryMiners. The topic of discussion, not surprisingly, was what a truly great customer experience is, and how to create one.
Mike started by giving his definition of customer experience: “Everything your brand does for your customers, minus everything your business does to them, and how that makes them feel without the emotional component.” It is different from customer service or even customer satisfaction. “In reality, satisfaction is the very least that customers will tolerate before they flee your business. You need to find out how to engage them, going beyond their expectations to create an experience worth their loyalty,” Mike continued.
Alan took this to heart when he originally heard it. “If you can give your customers an experience that they will tell someone else about, that’s how you really get them engaged,” he said. In HiFi Buys, that translates to encouraging employees to create memorable experiences with every customer, sharing music with them, and engaging in ways that they do not expect. This includes giving customers a tour of the store, showing them the mini museum, and breaking down expectations to show them that there’s something much greater and bigger here than they even realize.
What a lot of people don’t know, is that a similar experience is how Alan got into the business in the first place. After working in the car business, selling window blinds and even serving time as a vacuum cleaner salesman, 35 years ago he walked into an audio store. Two days later he was working there, and the rest is history. A firm believer in the concept of finding a way to do something you are passionate about, Alan loves music all the way through his being. He attends 1-3 live shows a week and is truly excited about having a business where he gets to share this love with others.
Mike is one of those customers. He explained his first HiFi Buys experience and how it got him hooked.
“The thing that the store and all of its personnel do very naturally is they don’t sell stuff. It’s not about the box that you put in the trunk. They engage you on music. What do you love? When did you fall in love with that music? How do you want to feel? How do you want to use music in your life? Those are the kinds of questions that they’re asking to try to get an idea on how music fits into your life and what kind of experience you want to have and share with others. The thing for me that made all the difference for me was when Alan taught me how to hear. I didn’t know I was capable of hearing things at such a high resolution; I’d never had that kind of experience before. Alan has me sit in the middle of the sofa in one of their listening rooms. I closed my eyes, and he played this music. I don’t even remember what the music was, but I do remember that I could tell where the fingers on the bass player were and where the vocals were coming from. It was almost like the sound was in me, and I’d never had that kind of experience. Then he explained this amplifier, the speakers, this special rack, these special cables and things like that. There’s a real science and an art to it, but it all starts with how you feel.”
Alan summed it all up with this: “Our focus is really on the relationships, because in the end, that is the only thing that really matters. My biggest reward is when someone walks into my store and trusts us to help them with the system of their dreams. It has happened countless times and is still as exciting as the first time.” You can listen to the full broadcast on the Business Radio X website.