Awe-inspiring customer experience starts, and ends, without ‘gotchas’

Awe-inspiring customer experience starts, and ends, without ‘gotchas’

Recently, I had a remarkable and inspiring customer experience with Maui Jim. So much so, that I will never buy any other brand of sunglasses ever again.

As a long time CX professional (CCXP and CXPA), it’s not easy to WOW me.  Here are the elements that made Maui Jim stand out:

  1. Have a great product they stand by.
  2. Listen to their customers.
  3. Follow through and do what they say they will.
  4. Strong partners in their distribution network.
  5. Easy to do business with no “gotchas.”

Let’s unpack this by answering the fundamental question of “what is customer experience?” While each company needs to define this for themselves, within the context of their brand promise and culture, a working definition is:

CX = In  X TnTPn

Customer experiences are the sum of ALL interactions, longitudinally, across touchpoints

Yes, it’s much greater than a single interaction and needs to be delivered consistently. That’s precisely why CX is everyone’s job and needs to be championed from the C-suite and orchestrated across lines of business and functions.

Here’s what made my Maui Jim customer experience awesome.

Maui Jim sunglasses are high performance eye protection. For sailors like me, we’re not averse to a pricey pair because we’re protecting our eyes from the sun and flying objects. Their glasses have a lifetime warranty, and I put it to the test. When racing in a high wind regatta, a sheet thwacked my face. The glasses protected my eye, but the frames broke. Same thing happened to my yacht-captain husband, so I returned two broken pairs for replacement.

I was informed by email that both pairs were discontinued and that they couldn’t fix either. But here’s how the Maui Jim team began to differentiate themselves. The email was from a real person with direct contact info – full name, email and direct dial phone number.  They actually wanted to talk to me and asked that I call them to discuss how they could make things right. They listened to me and made a personalized accommodation that we agreed upon. This wasn’t a standardized scripted dialog this was an empowered brand ambassador doing what was fair and reasonable. Not only that, but the supervisor was there in a moment collaborating with the call center representative and me to authorize our agreement. This was already unlike many front-line CSR’s; hiding behind a script and avoiding escalation saying the supervisor isn’t available or having you wait for an excruciatingly longtime hoping that you’ll give up.

Now, it gets even better!

Maui Jim’s ability to systematically follow through is remarkable. They remembered their promise and personalized accommodation two years after purchasing the glasses. While they have a “My Maui” sunglass configurator on their site, I needed to try on glasses to find a contoured fit.  

Through their strong partnerships with opticians and pop up stores, I not only found what I needed, but learned that I could also get bifocals made. A big win, not needing “cheaters” on hand to read a chart or instrument.

Honestly, I was dreading placing the order and trying to redeem this two-year-old promise. Girding myself for a “difficult” conversation, and keeping the stream of interactions, I dialed the phone. A delightful representative answered and immediately gave me confidence that she knew what she was doing and was going to be able to help me. Remarkably, all of my information and our agreement were put into my customer profile. Now that was EASY! No explaining, no recreating the wheel and no escalation. 

WOW! Mahalo Maui Jim! Keep up the awesome CX and please teach others.

In my next post, I will juxtapose awful CX and highlight how they could learn from Maui Jim’s outstanding customer experience.

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