There’s a lot of information out there about the basics of customer experience. Companies are buying in, paying for employee training, and empowering employees to create it to keep customers. Long term customers buy more services from providers they trust. Right? Sounds simple enough, but in real life, there are no quick programs or bells and whistles that make it happen. No magic switch to pull. It still takes the know-how and experience of employees — employees who understand the company mission, the customer expectation, and the role they play in both.

I recently used a service company that has the bells and whistles. I made an appointment and immediately received an email and text confirming the time and date. The day of the appointment I got a text with the technician’s photo, name, and his expected arrival time. After the repair, I received a short customer satisfaction survey link in a text. All these things contributed to the customer experience and service. I was impressed. The messaging was specifically about customer convenience.The basics of customer service

I received the same messaging when I called about the repair the second time and then the third. Each time a different technician came, each telling me the problem was fixed. On the third call, two technicians came. This is after the problem went long enough to cause a large water leak stain on the bathroom ceiling. This is when I lost enthusiasm about the bells and whistles. There was no mention of refunding the cost of the first visit. No mention of addressing the bathroom ceiling. No call backs to see if the problem was truly fixed.

In the end, the hubby took the unit apart, found the problem and repaired it. No more leak. As a customer, I felt disappointment in the company. I felt a bit foolish for being impressed with all the shiny objects when it came down to a repair. My expectations assumed the repair was the minimum outcome and all the other was icing on the cake. I felt let down and $70 poorer after the most important part of a customer interaction was a fail.

Will I use the company again? The answer turned to “maybe” after the experience versus a “definitely.” As a matter of fact, a couple weeks later the HVAC went out and we called another company. No bells and whistles, no messaging, just a “got it right the first time” repair. We will use them again.

As a marketer and a customer, I love the messaging. As a marketer and a customer, I’ll always want a service provider with knowledgeable service reps and a repair fixed on the first or even second go-around. Companies cannot afford to skip the bare minimum, the basics of customer experience. After all, a third repair call has no place in the customer experience. With or without bells and whistles.