"Customer experience" is the buzzword of the day, but what is often sorely lacking from articles and talks on the subject is concrete ideas on what to do on the ground.
I've just come across an excellent list of 50 ways to improve your customer's experience, which is full of specific dos and don'ts. Some of my favourites are:
13. Don't give your customer too many choices. You're the experts, so recommend a product based on what you learn from him/her.
This is really important, but so few organisations have grasped that choice is not always good. Too much choice bewilders customers and is likely to make them less satisfied with their purchase, not more.
15. If you can't fulfill a customer's need, suggest another company that may be able to do so.
Seems bizarre? Not if you're really customer focused. You can't make that sale anyway, but a helpful recommendation will make the customer like and trust you, increasing the chances they'll shop with you when they can.
16. Never ever say something negative about another company.
Any competent salesperson already knows this, but perhaps that knowledge should be spread through the rest of the organisation. This holds true even if all the criticisms you might make are 100% valid. It justs looks like sour grapes. What if the customer has already used the competitor? Are you telling them they're stupid?
Interestingly there's very little specifically "experiencey" about the list, no stories about Disney. It could just as well be a list of great "customer service" behaviours. Most of these things are timeless and universal, but that doesn't make them common!
Go and read the full list, or you can download it as a handy PDF from the blog.