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Scott McKain

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The SINGLE, CRITICAL question for creating a distinctive customer experience

Here’s a question that I’m constantly asked:  “Why don’t more businesses deliver an ‘Ultimate Customer Experience ™’?”

There are many answers to this important query; however, a common denominator is that most have failed to ask a simple question — one that is the most critical for creating a distinctive experience for customers.  Here it is:

  • “And, then what?”

One of the best exercises you can undertake is to project what the customer experiences at every point of contact with you.

Woman shopping clothes. Shopper looking at clothing indoors in store. Beautiful blonde caucasian female model wearing black glasses, casual black leather jacket an colorful scarf.

The first step is to write down the first point; for example: “The customer walks into our store.”

  • Next, ask that question: “And, then what?”

What happens next?  Does a co-worker approach them?  Do you leave them alone?  Do you ignore them? (Hopefully not!)  Be very specific…what will you do when the customer walks into the store?

Let’s say we approach the customer with a smile.

  • “And, then what?”

What (specifically) is said?  How is the customer greeted?

Let’s imagine that the customer says they’re “just looking around.”

  • “And, then what?”

You and I know that there are many retailers who — upon hearing the “looking around” statement — immediately fade into the woodwork and never assist the customer again during her visit.

Or, they won’t let the customer alone and hound them while pushing specials to the point he gets fed up and leaves.

Your challenge is to specifically ask, “And, then what?” for every interaction — and every possible response — that you can imagine.

Your answers should be based upon two criteria:

  1. What will create an experience so compelling to the customer that they will want to repeat it?
  2. What would happen if everything went exactly right?

Elevated View Of Happy And Positive Business People In Casual DrDistinctive organizations and individual professionals who specifically answer the “And, then what?” questions — then, consistently execute on the appropriate responses — are the ones who are delivering an “Ultimate Customer Experience ™” in the marketplace.

You can do it, too!


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Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers ( & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.