…You can serve your customers much better.
I know it has been far too long since I have blogged on here and I`m hoping to remedy that going forward.
In the interim, here is a story for you – I often talk about how small actions can go very far in the world of customer service and often ones with no cost have more impact than ones a company could simply throw money at.
The example here is an organic food store I`ve been to multiple times. I mentioned to the owner in passing that I wish he had Spinach, and the first time (a few days ago in fact) he had Spinach in the store when I arrived, he rushed over and grabbed it and said, “here you go friend“
I should mention that we spoke about the fact that I wish he were carrying Spinach once, over 12 months before this store visit. Do you think I was impressed? You bet. Will I be back again and again? You Bet.
Cost to him? Absolutely nothing. In fact, on top of impressing me, he has also increased his sales to me and my potential for word of mouth for his business. Simply by demonstrating that he was listening when I said I wish he had Spinach.
The question becomes – in what way are you giving your customers their Spinach?
We recently interviewed Jack Mitchell, Author of the Hug Your Customers book, for the latest episode of our Conversations With PASSION Radio Show, and Jack shared some great ways his (Upper scale men’s clothing) organization has hugged their customers over the years.
You can hear our interview with Jack (from our Conversations With PASSION Radio Show) at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationswithpassion
Now I ask, can you share some ways you have hugged (figuratively) your customers in recent years?
Yours in Success,
Lowest price really the correct answer? This video may just have the answer:
I had been looking for a specific gift for a family member over the weekend, and had some great customer experiences and poor ones during my travels.
Near the end of my travels, I arrived at the Canadian Tire in St. Albert, Alberta. The first guy I ran into wasn’t terribly rude, but was a little less than helpful.
I asked him if he knew where I might find the certain item in the store – he replied that he didn’t know where the section for those items were even though this store certainly carries those items, and so after an ackward pause, I asked, “do you know perhaps who in the store may know?” – his reply, “not really”.
I said, more in a ‘surprised with his dis-interest’ voice, “I guess I’ll just walk around until I find another employee with a company shirt on and ask them?”
He noted, “probably the best approach to take, because I don’t know where those items are”
WOW, is all I have to say.
And so, I was considering leaving the store all together, disheartenend once again by a poor customer experience, but for some reason decided to try and find the department. The person in Customer Service directed me to the department with a smile on their face, and my day was finally looking up!
I arrived at the department and was greeted by Brook’s smiling face. The item I was looking for wasn’t there, and so I inquired with her.
To make a long story short, to help me in my hunt, she looked up the inventory at all the other stores in the city, called the store manager, looked through the inventory in her department, and when she finally discovered they were out of said item, suggested places nearby that may have some, and even gave me directions to the other stores.
I thanked her and immediately made my way to customer service to fill out a comment card in her favor. Did I mention the fact that they didn’t have the item, and I actually filled out a comment card, or that Brook (and sorry if my age guessing skills are far off) was in her teens in my estimation (I’d say 19 at most but maybe 18 or 17)?
I mean many people complain that teens don’t get it when my experience far too often say’s otherwise. Yes, there are some bad apples and the reliance on social media, texting, and technology may be hindering a generations ability to serve with interest, but there are still many good apples out there as well.
So, in a nutshell, thanks so much Brook for Serving With Excellence yesterday, you are making a difference!
Until next time, yours in Success,
When I was in B.C. this past week (photo above is from my trip to the Armstrong Fair), I ordered shoe-string fries from one of the vendors – I pointed to the painting on the side of the truck of the fries and said can I get those fries?
His reply, “You can’t get those fries, the ones on the side of the truck, they haven’t been available for quite some time, BUT I can provide you ones similar to those ones, and they they’ll taste even less woody!”
I was smiling from ear to ear by the end of our conversation, and thus a great customer experience was created.
Why? Because his joking wasn’t harmful, hurtful, offensive, potically incorrect, and so on.
So, is joking around wrong in customer service. The quick answer is that it depends. The quicker answer is it can be very acceptable and a great tool in creating a great (no cost mind you) experience for your customers, as long as it’s done in the right way.
Until next time, here’s to your greater success, CPOIRIER
One of my favorite quotes is the Gandhi quote “Be the change you want to see in the world”
We often don’t realize (as service providers) that we can be that change.
How? It can simply be serving with passion (or even a smile) more often, finding more ways to truly make it about your customer, offering a recommendation even when it doesn’t benefit you, sincerely listening to a customer’s feedback, or any number of ways.
By taking any of these steps (no matter how small they seem), you are making a difference and could be the change you’d like to see in the world, it’s as simple as that – because every single action you take during your customer’s experience impacts the experience they have; for better or worse.
So, consider ways you can make a difference (no matter how small), and once again, you can be the change you’d like to see in this world.
So start small, remain consistent, and big things will happen.
Until then, here’s to your greater success,
I read this article on my last flight, and just had to post.
I mean if Mr. Geography (see the link below and allow a few seconds for it to open / load) can create an experience for his customers in an Ontario taxi /cab daily, just think of the many ways you can create a memorable experience for your customers…