When my children were younger and were called to a meal or wanted to help in the kitchen my wife always asked them if their hands were impeccably clean. She would explain why impeccably clean hands were needed. She pointed out that you always want to eat with clean hands, and if you are going to be help in the kitchen you need clean hands to handle the food.
At first I wondered why she just didn't tell them to go wash their hands since she knew they hadn't, but I came to realize that she wasn't asking them to go through a motion, she was teaching them to maintain a standard. Just as important, she wanted them to create a habit of washing their hands instead of having to be told.
Over time, the girls learned that impeccably clean meant never coming to the table or to expect to help in the kitchen without first washing their hands with soap and warm water. (Disclaimer: It doesn't always happen but for learning purpose let's pretend it does. I digress.)
The point is that the girls learned why it's important to have clean hands and inherently understood the expected outcome.
Successful companies use this same approach to deliver a better customer experience than their competitors. Employees who understand why an extraordinary and memorable customer experience is important to the company and their own success are more likely to deliver it than those who don't understand that concept.
Customer-centric companies also have a standard for the customer's experience. Like my wife's expectation for children to sit down to dinner with impeccably clean hands, there is a stated desired outcome that all employees strive to deliver. It's a key part of the company culture and is reinforced on a daily basis.
Of course everyone needs to be trained how to do their job, but when employees know the why and the expected outcome the how becomes much more important.
Take something as simple as a customer walking in the door. Most retail employees have been taught to "greet" the customer within x amount of time but they don't understand why those first thirty to sixty seconds are so important in setting the tone of the customer's overall experience. They also don't engage the customer in a meaningful way since they've never been taught how the customer should feel as a result of this initial engagement. So they say things like, "How's it going?" but never stop to hear a reply because as far as they know their how is over and done.
Companies will always be more successful when the how is only taught after the why and the expected outcome.
So let me ask, metaphorically of course, does your staff have impeccably clean hands or do you have to tell them to go wash? The difference is in the experience.