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“The Sale is not the End……only the Beginning”


What do I mean by this?

Successful companies are built on the loyalty of their clients, a loyalty which is created by the totality of the experience that they have when dealing with your company – from day 1 through the lifetime of the “contract” and beyond.

The sale is not the end in itself but the beginning of what we all hope is a lasting and rewarding relationship for both parties.


  • Whatever your product, someone will equal or better it.
  • Whatever your price, someone will equal or better it.
  • However good your marketing, someone will equal or better it.
  • However strong your brand, someone will equal or better it.
  • However good your service, someone will equal or better it

So what is left?

True differentiation is all about the total experience.

Why do you choose the restaurants you eat in?

  • Is it the food?
  • Is it the price?
  • Is it the comfort? The ambience?
  • Is it the brand and how that reflects on you?

It is all of those things, and most of all it is about how important they make you feel.

And this is true whatever the service or product.


Why is this so important and can it be readily achieved?

It is important for all the reasons given above. It is only through true differentiation that business can survive and grow. If there is no differentiation, there is no business. And it isn’t rocket science! Just the application of common sense.


Is it a formula that can be applied in all cases?

Not always as it might well depend on the nature of the business or the nature of the clients.

The nature of the business

Take two similar restaurants, but one is in Crowthorne and the other in London’s West End. I suspect that customer experience is the single most important factor for the small town restaurant, while quality of food or price may be much more important for the West End restaurant. Why? Because the small town restaurant will only be successful if people come back again and again while the West End restaurant relies more on passing trade, who may never come this way again.

The nature of the clients

Some clients look for a total service experience whilst others will decide purely on price, sacrificing the niceties of customer experience for a cost saving.

These are simplistic scenarios but they serve to make the point that the customer experience is by way of a contract between supplier and client to their mutual satisfaction. It is often said that keeping customers is the single most important thing that a business can do, and while this is an absolute truth, we must not forget that one size does not fit all. The nature of the Customer Experience must be tailored to the needs of the individual client.

Having said that, and I think this area needs expansion, let’s look at what we might mean by Customer Experience.

Let’s look at our own experiences. Can you think of an occasion when you were blown away by the quality of the customer experience, and then think of a time when your experience was really bad? I expect more of the latter than the former.

Why was this experience good? What differentiated it?

Why was this bad? What should have happened?

What was the result of the experience?

What companies stand out to you? Why? What do they do that their competitors don’t?

Having a complete understanding, we can now debate the elements of good customer service/experience.)

  • Clear statement of the offer.
  • Understanding of the offer by our own people.
  • Buy in by our people.
  • Client expectations set at a realistic level.
  • Expectations exceeded.
  • Consistency of performance.
  • Value added to the clients business.
  • Offering should enhance the experience of our client’s client.

This is all subjective on the part of the client, so we must be sensitive to his priorities, and design the solution to fulfil them.

We haven’t mentioned the product as the quality of that being suitable for our chosen market is taken as read. The product is rarely the differentiator.