Ingredients for a great customer experience

Woman in blue car

“Nobody owns the customer, but someone always owns the moment"1.

So said Walt Disney Vice-President Scott Hudgins about the ‘defining moment’. In customer service terms, it can be thought of any point in time when your customer has an opportunity to evaluate how well you’ve met their expectations.

It may not always be easy, but customer-facing organisations need to understand the right moments within a customer’s journey when they can surpass their expectations and ‘surprise and delight’ them.

What steps can frontline staff at car dealerships take to provide truly outstanding experiences at each and every moment in the customer journey?

Relationships are key

David Pisker, Head of Customer Experience at retailer Officeworks, says companies can benefit by taking inspiration from other businesses and other industries. Customer-service learnings from the office supplies sector can just as readily be applied to other retail-based sectors such as vehicle sales.

First and foremost, Pisker says his company is unafraid to put its relationships with its customers at the core of its business model.

“The value of our business comes from the customers that we engage in and the experiences that we give them, rather than the products that we sell,” he says2.

Pisker, who has over two decades’ experience delivering customer-focused solutions across the retail, automotive and other sectors, says we are moving into the ‘age of the customer’.

Contrary to popular belief, Pisker says, a satisfying customer experience isn’t derived from the product or service sold, but in the positive interaction had with the salesperson.

Prioritising the customer relationship above the purely transactional is just one of several philosophies he has helped instill in the Officeworks staff group. He says that the following can also help improve levels of customer satisfaction:

Set your standard high

Breaking your service interaction with your customers into a series of defining moments means you can aim to exceed your customers’ expectations at every step of their journey. Determine which are the most important and put all your efforts into making those experiences extraordinary in your customers’ eyes.

Once you’ve set the bar high, keep it there. If you impressed your customer with your first interaction with them, they’ll be expecting equally dazzling levels of service with every interaction thereafter. Arm them with confidence and make every effort to address any pain points they’re experiencing

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your customers and be prepared to make a course correction if necessary. While all of us are fallible, it costs nothing for us to learn from our errors.


2Customer Experience Leaders’ podcast – How to stay relevant in the age of the customer (Apple podcasts)

3Customer Experience Leaders’ podcast – How to stay relevant in the age of the customer (Apple podcasts)

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 30 August 2021 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of the issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.