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What’s the Difference Between Customer Experience and Customer Expectations?

We hear it all the time in meetings or in sales pitches. Every business claiming to, “exceed expectations and heighten the customers’ experience”.  But, what does it really mean?  When talking to other businesses regarding how they create an excellent customer experience, most resort to describing typical customer expectations.

In logistics, that means delivering to load on time through the appropriate channels and modes of transport, and having it arrive undamaged.  In this situation, the “customer experience” isn’t the ease of access to tracking information, having a point of contact throughout the transport, or even a smooth and headache-free delivery. Believe it or not, those attributes are still a part of customer’s expectations.

So, what is customer experience and how do we cultivate it? 


Unfortunately, there isn’t a straight answer to this question.  However, there are a couple of examples you may be familiar with.  For instance, the “missing bookmark” concept.  You go to a hotel, you expect the room to be clean, the bed to be made, and maybe even a mint on the pillows!  However, the missing bookmark alludes to coming back to a room, seeing a book you’ve been reading bookmarked by scrap paper that came from wherever, and finding a hotel-branded bookmark sitting on top of it.  You didn’t know you needed it, but now you have it!  That is really the essence of creating a customer experience. 

Another well-known example also involve hotels.  You go and check-in, there’s a long queue but you patiently wait along with the others. When you get up to the front, the person working the counter is calm, treats you with the upmost respect, and even manages to make you crack a smile.  Despite the slow service, it’s so incredibly pleasant you forget about the long wait.  Months past, and you find yourself at the same hotel, different location.  This time, instead of waiting in a line, there’s a second hotel worker suggesting people in line to sit in the lobby and help themselves to a complimentary cup of coffee. When it’s your turn, a concierge approaches you and escorts you back to the front desk area to check you in.  Both approaches are correct. However, the latter approach really enhances the customer experience. 

In short you can enhance the customer experience by:

  1. Anticipating what your customer needs outside of your typical service.
  2. Going above and beyond to meet those needs.
  3. Making the experience so incredibly thoughtful and unforgettable they convince themselves they wouldn’t be able to obtain that level of service anywhere else.

US Cargo Link makes an effort to treat any business—large or small—with the same amount of attention.  We assign one sales representative for each move or project, so you always have one point of contact and rest easy knowing that they understand the entire scope of your company’s goals.  Contact us today to see how US Cargo Link can be your link to success.

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