The 5 Steps I Use to Dramatically Improve My Clients’ Customer Experience

When it comes to Customer Experience improvement for a client, I am meticulous and relentless. I nitpick every single detail and turn over every stone looking for ways to improve every point of contact and every single step in the customer’s “journey.” I’m sitting in my office right now preparing for a big “Customer Journey” mapping meeting with a local client. Preparing for this meeting gave me the idea to share with you my Customer Journey mapping process.  So, here it is…my process for tackling the big task of customer experience improvement for my clients.

Service mapping

The first step in the Myra Golden Customer Experience Improvement Process is Service Mapping. Service Mapping is mapping out every single step of a process in flow chart form. As an example, after receiving a very poor and lengthy customer experience at my local tag agency, I sat down in the tag agency and mapped out my experience as shown in my photo below.

Tag Agency Blunder

What Service Mapping Does:

  • Allows you to see the full scope of every detail of the service interaction
  • Highlights areas that aren’t working
  • Identifies bottleneck steps, as was my point with the tag agency service map above
  • Show everyone how things happen
  • Help you assess the flow of work activity
  • Provide baseline data for improving your service experience

When I service map for my clients, I use butcher paper, markers and post it notes.  I like to include employees directly involved in the process and those who have no relationship with the process for diversity.

 Service Mapping Step by Step

  1. Hang butcher paper or flip chart paper on the wall. Allow plenty of paper space for horizontal and vertical charting.
  2. Name the service process and explain to your team that you will be mapping out the entire process in order to find improvement opportunities.
  3. Ask, “What is the first step in this process?” Then, begin to draw boxes to list out each step in the process. (Be prepared to cross out and backtrack, as team members often forget steps and you’ll have to go back in and add steps. This is to be expected.)
  4. After you have identified each of the steps in the process, go back to step 1 and begin a discussion. Some questions to jump start your discussion:
  • Why do we do this?
  • Does this help the customer?
  • Does this cause double work/confusion/problems?
  • Can this step be eliminated/moved back/changed?
  • If our customers were designing this process, what steps might they do differently?
  • Is this step really necessary?
  • How can we speed this step up?

5. Develop action items and prioritize based on the results of step 5. Use teams and rigorous project management practices to ensure you follow through on the golden opportunities discovered in step 4.

If you’re ready to make serious improvements to your customer experience, try my 5 steps for mapping out your customer journey and then making improvements. When you do, you’ll be well on your way to improving the customer experience at every single touch point.

Now you can get even more great ideas for customer experience improvement. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches and phrases to help your employees help your customers.




How Apple Got the Customer Experience Right

iPhone 5 by Myra Golden
iPhone 5, a photo by Myra Golden on Flickr.

I bought my daughter the iPhone 5, but I’m still rocking my iPhone 4s. Her iPhone 5 is faster, taller and far lighter than my iPhone 4s. But because I updated my iPhone with Apple’s latest iPhone software, I have tons of cool new features that make my iPhone 4s almost as cool as my daughter’s iPhone 5.

One of the many ways Apple creates air-tight customer loyalty is by consistently increasing the value customers get out of their devices.

Shortly after iPhone 5 was released, Apple announced iOS 6. The iOS 6 upgrade gave me over 200 new features for my iPhone 4s. All I had to do was download the software upgrade to turn my camera into a panoramic camera, get Siri to now make restaurant reservations for me or give me scores for my favorite teams and I now have a GPS on my iPhone. These are just a few of the more than 200 new features that increase the value and enhance the experience of my older model iPhone.

Increase the value of your service experience without increasing price and you’ll increase customer loyalty.

Apple keeps customers happy with consistent and valuable upgrades; FREE upgrades that enhance the customer experience in relevant ways. I can think of 2 other companies that enhance the customer experience with free valuable upgrades. Southwest Airlines and

Southwest Airlines Enhances the Flying Experience with Drink Coupons. When you fly 10 or more one-way flight segments in a calendar year, Southwest will send you four complimentary drink coupons if you are over 21 years old. Merlot in a plastic cup after a keynote and long travel day sure can feel really nice.

Zappos Offers Free VIP Status, Which Means You Get Lifetime Overnight Shipping for Free. I’m not sure what it takes to qualify for it, but I am lucky enough to have Free Zappos VIP Status. This means I get lifetime free overnight shipping on anything from

How might you increase the value of your customer experience without passing on cost to your customers?

Take the next step. Sit down with your team and explore how you might enhance the value your customers receive. How might you give customers more without charging more? What updates/improvements/upgrades can you offer to help customers maximize the potential of your product or service? Enhancing customer value inspires customer loyalty. Customer loyalty inspires bigger profits.

Related post:

Apple’s 5 Steps of Customer Service Brilliantly Executed

Apple’s Customer Experience Secret: Constantly Improve What Is Already Extraordinary

How to Prepare Your Employees for the Black Friday Customer Experience

Ridiculously low prices, brilliant marketing, and holiday buzz get consumers in the door on Black Friday. Once in the stores, however, customers must fight their way through crowds, risk getting trampled, and race to the items on their shopping lists. Many customers will be disappointed to find that they are too late to grab their desired items because the swifter customers already beat them to the iPad Mini or the 72” flat screen TV. Meanwhile, frontline employees work to keep the shelves neat, field complaints about roughhousing and out-of-stock items, struggle to get price checks, answer questions, and ring customers up. It’s a guaranteed stressful day.  While there’s no balm to remove the stress of Black Friday, I do have 4 tips to help make Black Friday a little less stressful for the frontline employees that help make Black Friday a profitable shopping day.

1. Properly Train Employees to Manage the Event Black Friday is a significant event, not unlike an NBA game or a hip-hop concert. There will be crowds, excitement, chaos, and risks. Employees must be trained on what to do in overcrowding situations, crowd pushing, violence and fire. A detailed staffing plan is a must so that all employees have specific locations fully staffed during the Black Friday event. Additionally, a clear safety plan must be created and rehearsed before the event so that the store is completely prepared for any emergency situations.

2. Complaint Handling – Consumers will complain on Black Friday. Expect this and prepare for it. Employees can defuse angry customers by maintaining eye contact with the complaining customers, apologizing regardless of fault, responding with empathy and demonstrating a sense of urgency. For help with complaint handling, see my post on How to Completely Restore Customer Confidence After a Service Mishap.

3. Communication Strategy – Large crowds and extra noise will virtually mute retail PA systems. Keep your employees communicating by giving all employees radios during the Black Friday event. Communication will be imperative during out-of-stock and emergency situations.

4. Good ol Customer Service – Remember, customers will be just as stressed and aggravated as employees. And also remember that the customers, albeit aggressive and challenging on this day, are still customers. Employees need to be mindful of the power of making eye contact with customers and smiling. Even in the midst of crowds and chaos, the power of connection will go a long way. It is essential to be available to offer assistance to customers and to be responsive to customer needs during this excruciatingly busy time.

Black Friday is a hugely profitable day for most retailers. But it’s a tiring and aggravating day for employees. Minimize the stress on employees by proactively preparing them for the event using these 4 steps.  When you do, both your customers and your employees will have a better Black Friday experience. Good luck!


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Some posts you might find helpful as you prepare for Black Friday

Managing the Customer Experience for Big Customer Events

Here’s Why You Need to Let Your Employees Cool Down After a Busy Period

Sorry Works! The Bottom-line Benefit of Apologizing to Customers

How to Completely Restore Customer Confidence After Things Go Wrong

Do-it-yourself Training Kits

If You Really Want Customer Feedback, Make It Easy for Customers to Talk to You

A few weeks ago I stopped in a restroom at the Phoenix airport. That’s a lot of information, I know. But, bear with me. On my way out of the restroom, I saw this sign.

How cool is this? The Phoenix airport is using QR Codes to get customers to let them know if restrooms are in need of service. It’s not uncommon to see a sign in a public restroom that asks customers to let a member of the staff know if restrooms need attention, but how many customers actually take the time to find staff and tell them the restrooms need work? Who has that kind of time? How do you even tell a company they need to tidy the potty area?

The Phoenix airport makes it easy for customers to give feedback. All a customer would have to do is hold up their phone and scan the QR Code to let the staff know attention is needed.

The restroom was actually in good shape, but I wanted to test out the service. So, I held my iPhone up to the QR Code and then it automatically opened up a text message. All I had to do was hit “send.” This is really, really cool. (I didn’t actually send the text though.)

How might you use QR Codes to make your customer experience easier for customers? Could a QR Code be used to pull up FAQ? Perhaps to let an employee know a customer needs assistance on aisle 33? QR Codes aren’t just for ads or promotions. Think out of the box to find ways you might use QR Codes to surprise and delight your customers.

Imagine sitting in a local coffee shop that’s nestled in a bookstore, and talking over a latte with Myra about ways to help your employees deliver the best possible customer experience, and ways to help reduce stress on your employees as they deal with difficult customers.

Every week, often literally from a coffee shop, Myra gives you ideas that in one way or another are actionable towards improving your customer experience.

Sign up and join Myra over coffee every week.

Related Post:

How to Get More Responses to those Surveys Nobody Likes to Fill Out

Myra Golden’s Keynote Slides from Edible Arrangements Convention

I had a  ball presenting to the enthusiastic Managers at the Edible Arrangements Annual Convention in Las Vegas last week. I got Goosebumps as managers described what WOW meant to them and I as I discovered that WOW is not buzzword at this company, but truly the culture. I am happy to provide a copy of my slide deck as a reference for my fabulous clients. Enjoy. Share. Learn.


Myra Golden has spent 15 years benchmarking, interviewing and mystery shopping the best service companies in the world and in her keynotes she shares her insights to help her clients improve their own customer experiences. In her inspiring and riveting keynotes, Myra shares specific customer experience design details from the best service companies of our time: Apple,, Starbucks and Disney. Your audience will walk away with 4 powerful deliverables to help them create the best possible customer experience in their own companies. Explore Myra’s keynotes here.


How I Build a Keynote Presentation


What a Myra Golden Training is Like


Ways I Engage My Audiences


Never Be Boring: 5 Ways to Never Be Boring as a Keynote Speaker


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