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What makes a great customer experience?

What makes a great customer experience?

It’s certainly more than just a transaction. It’s all about the lead up to the sale, the buying process and the experience. This is a story about a great customer experience, and the key ingredients.

For many years, I’ve yearned for a VW camper van (like many other people I suspect). When it came to a fairly significant wedding anniversary, my husband booked a beautifully restored one for a long weekend. As it happens, we needed to postpone our trip for 6 months, but that was part of the customer service experience. The company, Vanilla Splits were very accommodating and this month we took our first VW trip to the south coast. It was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had! It was helped by the fact that the sun shone for 3 days, but it was also down to the genuine and positive interactions we had with Vanilla Splits.

First impressions

On a rather grey June day, we arrived at an industrial estate near Chichester to pick up the van. Not a very inspiring location … except that when we got to the showroom, it was bright and spacious, beautifully branded and there was a stunning display of vintage cars and vans all set in a themed environment with 50s and 60s artwork, artefacts and music playing in the background. We were greeted with a hearty handshake and introduction to Jax, who took us through all the paperwork and told us to phone any time over the weekend if we had any queries. We were then shown over the van and all its functions with some helpful hints (like remembering to unplug the electrics before driving off from a campsite with electric hook-ups).

A beautiful product

The interior was stunning, with matching fabrics on the curtains, cushions and gadget cases – a wallet containing remote controls for the DVD player and surround sound system. Yes, really! There were also cubby holes containing all the equipment we could need including a hair dryer, pots and pans, cooking utensils, retro mugs and big chunky glasses perfect for glugging red wine from. An information pack contained all the instructions for the obvious things that we might have forgotten during the handover – how to operate the DVD player, fridge, cooker etc with an inventory so we could see what was stashed on board.

We really felt they shared our excitement for the weekend ahead, even though they’ve probably handed the keys over hundreds of times. So here’s what I think made this experience stand out.

  • Lovely website in keeping with the dream
  • Informative and helpful details and FAQs on the website
  • Ideas and examples of trips and adventures on the website
  • Quick response to enquiries and questions
  • Fantastic showroom – layout, decor and music
  • Enthusiastic and friendly personal welcome
  • Efficient yet thorough terms and conditions and handover
  • Fabulous product, well thought through
  • Offer to call anytime over the weekend for assistance

If you want to see more photos of our trip, have a look at the album here.

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