The most common assumption organizations make is that if I have delivered a good and professional service, then it is a positive experience. Unfortunately, this is not the case!

According to the dictionary, experience is an event or occurrence which leaves an IMPRESSION on someone; and an IMPRESSION is an idea, feeling or opinion about something or someone. Experience occurs every time when customers interacts with your brand, and it would be short-sighted if a company was only thinking about customer service, as it is only one of the many touch-points of the whole customer experience.

The hospitality industry is often referred as the gurus of customer experience! And many companies have learnt from it; renowned mobile company, luxury brands and banks. To quote from Susan Reilly Salgado, managing director of Hospitality Quotient: “Service is all about the technical delivery of the product, while hospitality is about how guests feel during that transaction”

Many organizations are working to improve their customer service and investing in training their people to provide accurate and professional service. Nothing wrong with that and it is great news! Nevertheless, a satisfied customer does not necessarily translate into positive and memorable experience. Many organizations forget that other attributes might also be affecting the impression you want to give to the customers. Have you considered looking at your SOPs and see if they support delivering positive experiences? What is the impact of your decorations, smells and lighting? How emotionally engaged are your front-line staff to provide exceptional experience? Are you measuring the right KPIs to promote positive experiences? Are your services/products responding to the needs and wants of today’s customers? Is the experience being delivered according to the brand promise?

Change your focus today and start thinking and feeling Experience!

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Wei Cheng-Chen Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Wei-Cheng is a Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting SA. He has assisted many international organizations, such as luxury goods, insurance and banking companies, in designing and delivering tailored training programmes to enhance their customer service and experience. His role also involves in managing a team in setting up hospitality schools and learning centres where hospitality talents are most needed; from concept development to implementation, quality inspection and ensuring sustainable growth and competitive advantage of each institution.

Prior to LHC, he worked in the hospitality industry in Argentina and Switzerland and also collected experience in the education sector. Wei was responsible for talent sourcing for Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, recruiting young future leaders for the hospitality industry. Wei is a life member of Clare Hall, a constituent and graduate college of the University of Cambridge where he obtained his postgraduate degree. He is also alumnus of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, and possesses a degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management from the Escuela Internacional de Hotelería y Turismo CENCAP in Buenos Aires, Argentina.