Customer Experience: What It Is and How to Create It

We all have certain stores and brands that we keep going back to time after time. They consistently provide us with great products and services. When our friends and family ask for suggestions, they are a name we quickly and confidently provide. We love these companies, but what brings us back for more?

Yes, they provide quality and a product. Yes, they have great customer service. But it’s more than just those things. They create and maintain an excellent customer experience. What exactly does that mean, though? How do you create it? Is it just something that happens with time? Can it be improved? Let’s discuss.

customer service
I bet you’re thinking, customer experience, that’s just a fancy way of saying customer service. WRONG. Though it does include customer service, customer experience is a mix of many things. Think about when you walk into your favorite store, there’s something about the atmosphere and the ease of finding or ordering what you need. Also, you can’t forget about the product or service. You get quality at each turn and you keep coming back.

So, how do they make it happen? Customer experience does not just happen (though if you have a good business plan it may seem like it does); it is created. It’s in the branding and package design, it’s in the materials that go into making the product, and that product’s design. It’s the look and feel of the brick and mortar location. It’s your online presence. It’s in the message the brand exudes. It’s the people and the training they receive. It’s planning. Whether you have an established company or are working to establish a new organization, here are some ways to create and/or improve your customer experience:

Keep It Cohesive

Make sure everyone and everything are on the same page. You take time crafting your mission and message, so put them to work. These should go further than just something employees read in their handbooks; be more than just a catchy tagline. They should mean something to the company and the customer. Everyone in the organization should buy into these messages, and they should carry through all facets of the brand. Also, don’t forget to make sure all branding and imaging carry through the brand as well. You want to be recognizable; make sure your theme is integrated through all platforms.

Make Things Easy

Who doesn’t like easy? Millennials and Generation Z have short attention spans. If it takes too many steps, they are moving on. We are also seeing in the retail world a move from shopping at brick and mortar stores to online shopping. If you don’t have an online presence, you are in trouble. So many locations extend their reach and experience for the customers to multiple channels; online, apps, social media, and physical locations. Each providing ease of access to products and deals. Companies that cannot convert the experience to multiple platforms are faltering. For example, The Limited has just closed all of its physical retail locations–just one of the many recent retail casualties. Though they provided good in-store experiences, The Limited was slow to transition to multi-faceted selling platforms. Only in the past several years did the brand start to offer computerized in-store online ordering, something many other brands had established long before which calculated into their demise.

People Power

Now, I know I said this wasn’t about customer service, but it is part of it. You can make sure that your online platform is easy to navigate, bug-free, and rarely down, but if your customer service is horrible, then forget it. Invest in your people, in their initial training, in their well-being, and their advancement. Happy employees carry their enthusiasm to those they interact with. I am currently planning a wedding and working to interview different “Big Day” vendors. It’s exhausting, but one thing I will say is that all of these vendors get what it means to create a customer experience. I recently said “yes to my dress,” and the experience and service there was amazing. They made sure my pregnant bridesmaids always had water and snacks; the woman who helped me find my dress even gave me her personal cell phone number so I can keep her updated on my wedding planning progress. They added the personal touch and made me feel special. If you can instill the importance of making a connection with your clients to everybody in your organization, you will have them coming back for more time and time again. Make them see the value in your people as well as in your product.

Customer experience is an expansive concept that includes, customer service, good products, easy online navigation, and more. Competition is everywhere. Make a plan that will help you stand out and connect with your client base. Plan for customer experience; don’t think it will happen magically.

Just another Friday at ABG

Happy Friday everyone! How has April been treating you? It’s been great so far for everyone here at ABG Capital. We want to start off by giving you a little recap of the blog posts we’ve featured this week. They both revolve around customers and offer great tips on what you can do at your organization to be more successful.

The first post we had was called, Does Your Business Need a VP of Customer Success? Your customers should be your primary focus. If you don’t have someone to manage that, then it might be something you want to look into! Did you realize that having a VP of Customer Success could help direct your team to a more customer centric focus? Did you know that a VP of Customer Success could also help boost sales? Well, both of those are true and there are even more benefits outlined in the post.

The second post that we had to share on the ABG Capital blog this week was, Enhancing Customer Experience Using Big Data. If you’ve never heard of big data before, just know that it is defined as data that is too large and complicated for traditional tools to capture, store and analyze. The article explains that utilizing this data can give you a better understanding of your customers, which makes your job as a business owner much easier. More importantly, it makes your customers happy and that’s ultimately what every business strives to accomplish.

Just to make a quick announcement, we are currently recruiting for the positions listed below. Our HR Manager, Sharon Kolesar, recently attended a job fair at CCAC and while, she met some great candidates, we are still searching for new employees.

  • Technical Service Representatives 
  • Customer Service Representatives
  • Web Developers (please know that we’re looking for experienced candidates for this position)

If you are interested in any of these positions, please send your resume and cover letter to

While we’re looking for new people to add to our team, we can’t forget for recognize some of our current employees! Let’s share some of the birthdays and anniversaries that we have coming up in April:

  • Birthdays
    • Rhonda Taylor-Boles – April 9th
    • Dustin Campbell – April 10th
    • Dan Ravenstahl – April 18th
    • Kimmie Rivetti – April 28th
  • Anniversaries
    • Jerry Eddy – 6 years on April 3rd
    • Mark Fleckenstein – 4 years on April 16th
    • Jennifer Williams – 1 year on April 16th
    • Nate Rupp – 6 years on April 25th

While we’re talking about celebrations, we have to announce something on behalf of one of our portfolio companies, VoIP Innovations. Today they are taking the afternoon off (their support staff will still be working) to celebrate hitting a fantastic revenue goal that has been escaping them for years. A giant ABG Capital congratulations goes out to everyone who is part of the VoIP Innovations team. You are all A players and we couldn’t be more proud to have you as part of our amazing organization. Keep up the great work!


This week we also had Brad Withers join us for the second year in a row to do a workshop with our managers. This year he focused on team building strategies and our managers had a VERY interesting day because he came ready to do all kinds of activities. Any speaker can come in and read a manual to your for 8 hours, but Brad explained the value in teaching the concepts behind the content. Our mangers built index card towers, spaghetti and marshmallow skyscrapers and they even played a little catch with noisy stuffed animals. It wasn’t the activities themselves that taught them about team building; it was the debriefing once the activities were over. There was a great deal of valuable information talked about during this workshop and we can’t wait to see how these mangers put their newly learned skills into action! Here a few pictures from the workshop.





Before we close out this week’s Just another Friday at ABG Capital, we wanted to let you know that next week we’ll have our annual kickball game. This is the second sporting event of the year and we can’t wait! Below are a few pictures from last year’s game.

ABG Capital Kickball Game 1

ABG Capital Kickball Game 2

ABG Capital Kickball Game 3


Just another Friday at ABG

Welcome back to a new Just another Friday at ABG Capital blog post! Today we want to recap the events from this week, go over some things you can expect to see next week and then we’ll fill you in on some company updates from our Month End Meeting.

Let’s start with the blog post we featured this week that concentrated on employee health and wellness. Did you know that active, healthier employees make more productive employees? Well, it’s true! Some employees get so caught up in staring at their computer screen for 8 hours a day that it causes them to be unhappy and it ultimately drags down morale. One way to bring those employees back to life is to institute some health and wellness initiatives. Without them, your business might begin to suffer. Check out the article because it talks about some of the major implications associated with unhealthy employees.

While we do not have a formal health and wellness program in place here at ABG Capital, we have instituted “Tend to you at 10 and 2” breaks. These breaks encourage our employees to get up from their desks twice a day and go outside to walk around, play catch, roller skate; whatever they like as long as it’s some kind of physical activity to get the blood moving!. We also recently set up a basketball hoop that employees are free to use at any time. Our company Portal is also stocked with plenty of handy health and wellness information that is always available to our employees.

Staying active at ABG Capital

Here are two great posts that we have coming up next week on the ABG Capital blog:

  • Does Your Business Need A VP Of Customer Success? – Self-centered organizations often define jobs by their internal function, but cutting-edge companies are taking their viewpoint to heart by creating roles that are truly customer-centered.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience Using Big Data – Large amounts of data generated through client interaction allow businesses of all size to gain a better understanding of their customers. Amazon’s “suggestions” are just one example of how well this can work.

Shannon Hogan, Inspira Customer Service RepNow for some important ABG Capital updates! This week was the official start day of a new Customer Service Representative for Inspira and her name is Shannon Hogan. Welcome to the team, Shannon!

While we’re on the topic of new employees, Justin Sparks celebrated his 30 day milestone and had his Lunch with Leadership with Jeff and Jason Tapolci at the Rivers Club!

ABG Capital Lunch with Leadership

Here are a few announcements from our Month End Meeting:

  • February Employee of the Month – Collin Ballantine
  • February Honorable Mention – The Inspira Call Center
  • March Spotlight of the Month – Tyler Weimerskirch
  • Events coming up:
    • Our Annual Kickball Game will be held on April 11th
    • Our Annual Volunteering event at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies will be held on May 23rd.

We also want to mention that we had a great time with the students from the Entrepreneurship Program at Canon Mac High School today. They visited our office last year and we’re so happy they returned again this year! Here are a few pictures from their visit:

Canon Mac Visits ABG Capital

Canon Mac Visits ABG Capital

We even brought out the Cruisin’ Cooler for them!

Thanks for stopping by for another great Just another Friday at ABG Capital blog post. We hope to have you back again next week!