What can a routine oil change teach us about customer success management? Quite a bit, actually. I want to share a brief story whereby a recent Lexus customer service appointment reminded me why some customers become and remain brand loyal. Memorable customer experiences provide a window into the soul of an organization—emotional connections and trust matter most in customer success management.
It was just a simple oil change.
Two weeks ago, I rolled my 2015 Lexus NX 200T into the service bay for the highly coveted 7 a.m. appointment.
Since I used my mobile check-in app, Paula Clemons walked out to greet me. “Good morning, Mr. McGarry!” I feel somewhat important. Like I really matter.
We have known each other well since I purchased my first Lexus from the same dealer in 1998.
Paula walks me to her desk, asks about my family, and quickly pulls up my car history and the reason for my appointment.
“Have you rotated your tires lately? The records indicate otherwise. You might want to consider since the last rotation was 10,000 miles ago.”
Though I only scheduled a service appointment for an oil change, I know that Paula has expert knowledge of my car and Lexus automobiles.
I trust her.
I decide to add the tire rotation to my visit.
“Go get yourself some breakfast in the customer area. I will text you in about 45 minutes with an update.”
I wander into the customer area and order French toast, two eggs over easy, and some crispy bacon.
Lexus offers eight different flavors of coffee, so I face the first big decision of my young day.
I bring my breakfast and coffee to a spacious and cozy workstation that provides ample space to work and more than enough charging outlets. I decide to sit on a high-top table rather than a leather recliner.
Forty-five minutes seem to pass in five minutes.
As Paula texts me that my car is almost finished being washed, I wonder, “Do I have to leave? Can I just work here all day?”
“Today, the Lexus vision is simple: to create amazing experiences. By transforming function into emotion, performance into passion, and technology into imagination.
In the spirit of Omotenashi, each vehicle we create is designed around you. Designed to anticipate your needs, to electrify your senses, and to make each of your journeys more amazing than the last.”
That is the Lexus vision statement.
Omotenashi is Japanese hospitality. “Omote” means public face: an image you wish to present to outsiders. “Nashi” means nothing. Combining them means every service is from the bottom of the heart, honest, no hiding, no pretending.
Even if it’s just an oil change.
Omotenashi is a way of life in Japan focused on always providing the best service and hospitality despite receiving nothing in return.
In my previous professional life, I worked for a Japanese investment bank for ten years. When I visited Tokyo for the first time, I noticed omotenashi everywhere. Like a tea ceremony, sushi is prepared in front of the customer. The openness in showing how the sushi is made and who makes it publicly is just one way omotenashi is exemplified.
Does this omotenashi stuff work?
Data from J.D. Power’s Automotive Brand Loyalty Study in 2019 shows Lexus customers are, in fact, the most brand loyal.
PCI Customer Success Management
Customer success is a role played by everybody at PCI.
Whether you’re developing a product, managing a product, in client services, sales, or marketing, or playing the role of Customer Success Manager, each plays a critical role in ensuring PCI’s customers are set for success when leveraging PCI software for their business operations.
Each of us plays a vital role in providing a memorable customer experience.
Every client interaction offers PCI a unique opportunity to shape and enhance our brand image.
Even if it’s just addressing a service ticket.
In fact, most iconic brands treat their most basic tasks in the same manner and passion as their most difficult ones.
The brand image gets protected and maintained on all fronts.
PCI competes in an industry understandably focused on technological advancements that happen at light speed. It’s easy to get consumed and focused on who has “the latest and greatest shiny new toy.”
And some people may choose to view customer success as the ability to provide all these new advancements.
But I somewhat disagree.
I view customer success more in the light of the Lexus vision statement, anticipating client needs, and making each client’s journey more amazing than the last.
Like other software companies, PCI will never be No. 1 in delivering the latest and greatest technology 100% of the time simply because advances happen so quickly and so many are emerging each year.
I view PCI Customer Success Management more in making an emotional connection to a client. Emotional connections deliver memorable experiences to a customer.
When you click on the page at pcienergysolutions.com, you see the following message:
“Your trusted partner for full-spectrum software and support.”
We establish trust daily by making debits to the trust bank on many distinct levels.
PCI Customer Success Management focuses on developing and maintaining trust with the client.
Trust is the cornerstone of any personal or professional relationship.
There is a stark difference between being considered “one of the best” versus “the best.”
Iconic companies like Lexus consistently deliver a memorable customer experience and thus are “the best.”
PCI Customer Success strives to be the best in the same manner as Lexus.
Omotenashi works and provides a solid path toward ensuring customer success.
Client success is our No. 1 company value. Visit our About page to learn more about our other three values and our vision and mission driving everything we do.