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Going Beyond 5 Stars: A Quest For The Ultimate Customer Experience
Oct 26, 2021

Going Beyond 5 Stars: A Quest For The Ultimate Customer Experience

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

Two Dudes image

Source: Two Dudes.

How do you surprise and delight your customers?

What is that elusive 5-star experience, and can it be topped?

This is the story of two friends who started a business to challenge not just conceptions and social stigma, but what it means to give a truly memorable customer experience.

One that turns buyers into ambassadors, and keeps them coming back for more.

Meet: Michael and Tomas from Two Dudes

It Started With Face Cream…

Co-founders of mens’ skincare company Two Dudes, Tomas and Michael, met as law students in Canterbury, New Zealand. 

After a change of heart turned them both to beer - professionally that is - they began working for Heineken in Singapore, among other places. 

One fateful morning in their shared bathroom, Mike spotted Tom applying moisturizer. 

That was a little unusual, he thought. So he quizzed Tom about it. 

Tom grinned.

“That’s what I thought, too. Until my girlfriend put me onto the stuff. You should try it sometime.”

Intrigued, Mike followed suit, and the results surprised him. 

The lads agreed that not only did looking after their skin make it look better, but they felt better too. Why weren’t more guys doing the same thing? 

They decided to investigate back at home.

They discovered that New Zealand men weren’t looking after their skin. In fact, it seemed they weren’t looking after their health much in general.

This sparked something in both of them. 

Deciding to do something about it, Mike and Tom built an ecommerce store using Shopify, specializing in mens’ skincare. 

The products would be simple and convenient, and they would give back. 

10% of the profits would go to mens’ health organizations in New Zealand. 

But their journey was far from over.

To truly help New Zealand men improve their health, they had to look deeper.

That’s when they turned their attention to customer experience. And a certain piece of advice from one of the hospitality industry’s most successful leaders showed them the way.

It Led To Confronting Stigmas…

Customer experience plays a vital role in every business, whether you’re selling books on eBay or vegetables at a supermarket.

Treat customers badly and you’ll never see them again. Treat them right, and they could turn into loyal ambassadors for your brand.

But how do you achieve the latter? 

Mike and Tom were so passionate about battling the stigma of mens’ skincare and helping men look and feel their best, that they wanted to know.

How do they build a brand and customer journey that will both change minds, and keep people coming back?

Before any product or changes to the website go live, the Two Dudes team test everything.

First, they place the consumer at the front of their mind.

They start answering hypothetical questions such as:

  • “What do our consumers want?”
  • “How does the purchasing pathway appear to the consumer?”
  • “How can we simplify the pathway and make it easier for them?”

Then they turn those answers into actions, updates, and new ideas.

But even after much testing and improvements, there’s always still the possibility of negative feedback.

It’s one thing to try and create a user-friendly experience; it’s another to create one that the users are happy with.

How do you go the extra mile?

That’s where Brian Chesky came in.

Taking Inspiration From Airbnb

Our Two Dudes, Mike and Tom, are no strangers to trying new things.

In the pursuit of complete customer satisfaction, they now go above and beyond what is expected to amend any customer dissatisfaction.

And it’s all thanks to the advice of one man.

Early on in their ecommerce journey, they listened to a podcast in which Airbnb CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky, spoke about creating an experience so great your customers can’t stop talking about it.

In the podcast, Brian speaks about going beyond the “5-star” experience.

First, he takes one element of Airbnb and explores what the 5-star experience would look like for that element.

He then considers what a 6-star experience would look like, based on this line of thinking. 

If a 5-star welcome meant everything was perfectly clean and the hosts greets you with a warm smile, a 6-star welcome might include a tour of the facilities and a complimentary bottle of wine waiting for you in your room.

A 6-Star Customer Experience

Brian explains that the customer reaction to 6-star treatment would sound something like, “Wow, I loved this even more than a hotel. I will definitely use Airbnb again. It worked better than I expected!”  

The next step for business owners would be to extrapolate even further:

What would a 7-star experience be like? 

How about 10-star? 


The purpose of the exercise is to always aim to create an outstanding customer experience - one that exceeds a great, or even an excellent experience.

Brian recommends finding the sweet spot between your 5-star experience and your potentially not-so-feasible 11-star experience. There lies your path to creating an experience that your customers will talk about and recommend to others.

Applying The CX Formula To Ecommerce

Inspired by Brian’s approach to customer experience, Mike and Tom started applying it to Two Dudes.

Now, whenever they receive negative feedback, they exchange looks and say:

Let’s hit ‘em with the 10-star!

This approach allows the guys to keep these customers on board and continue to nurture that relationship.

By creating a better overall experience for the customer, Two Dudes benefits just as much.

The customer gets an improved purchasing process and product, and the company gets stronger customer retention and more referrals. Everybody wins.

Brian Chesky’s advice on designing the perfect experience for your user can be implemented into any sort of business.

He encourages you to design the perfect experience for your company. Once you have that, step it up a notch. Then just rinse and repeat, until you’ve achieved maximum customer satisfaction.

If it worked for Two Dudes, it can work for you, too.

Listen to Brian Chesky on “Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman” podcast.

Check out Two Dudes Skincare.

Would you like to hear more stories like this one and connect with like-minded ecommerce peers from around the world?

Join the Ecommerce Back Office community on Facebook today to swap ideas, share advice, and hear about the latest and greatest happenings within the ecommerce space.

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