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A Pebble Beach Lesson About Client Experience

Written by Corey Kaufman

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This month I had the experience of a lifetime. I played golf at Pebble Beach with my dad. This was something that was on my bucket list, and funnily enough, we weren’t intending to play there at all but at another Monterey course.

We found out, however, that if you called Pebble Beach reservations the day before you wanted to play and asked if there were any cancellations, and if you didn’t mind playing later in the day, you had a good chance of getting in. And that’s exactly what happened.

If you follow golf at all, you know that Pebble Beach is one of the top ten golf courses in the world. It’s been the site of six US Opens and annual tournaments on the PGA tour.

Golfers’ Every Need Accommodated

Pebble Beach is famous for being the ultimate golf destination. Everything is set up to accommodate anything a golfer may want, all wrapped up in a great experience.

A big part of the experience is just being perched on the side of a cliff with expansive ocean views. Another thing that struck me was the orderliness of everything, which gave me a sense that everything was in the right place – including me when I was out there on the course.

The experience doesn’t start and stop on the golf course. It extends to the resort, where you can set yourself up for a good night’s sleep with your choice of seven different types of pillows.

The Experience Stimulates Emotion

When we left the resort the following day, I felt exactly how the Pebble Beach organization wanted me to feel – on an emotional high. And that was despite the fact that one of my shots hit the roof of a multi-million dollar house, bounced on the balcony, and back into play.

Experience matters to Accent/VC3 as much as it does to Pebble Beach, but it obviously looks different. What’s the same is how it makes you feel.

We could have the smartest engineer in the world answer the support desk phone, but if you don’t have a positive experience talking with that person, it won’t take long for your emotions to build up. Pretty soon, you’re not just frustrated with whatever problem you have, you’re angry, and it’s hard not to let that emotion become an undercurrent throughout your day.

IT Services with Empathy

That’s why our approach is to hire excellent communicators who can turn a situation from a negative to a positive. In fact, I often say that we are in the service business, not just the IT service business because it’s imperative that we empathize and connect with people.

Client experience is actually a competitive advantage. You can have two companies that are equal when it comes to operations, but the one that provides the better experience will perform better.

I just learned something else about client experience that’s incredibly fascinating. It’s called reciprocity. What that describes is essentially a kind of feedback loop of good feelings that return to whoever or whatever provided the great experience.

I think it’s more like a ripple effect than a loop because the positive emotions that are stirred up can spread out to other interactions and stay with you for some time.

I know that I’ll be smiling about my trip to Pebble Beach for a long time. And when it comes to our clients, our Careers page says it best – “It’s not about the computers. It’s about the people.”

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