As I discussed in last week’s article Variation, when you think about delivering 10 out of 10 customer service and what has your business stand out from your competitors it comes down to doing the fundamental things consistently well and delivering on your promises. It is the companies who you know time and again go above and beyond, are reliable and that you know you can count that remain top of mind.
Take a moment to think about who those companies are for you. Who can you count on without question? What is it they do that has you know you can rely on? It may be the simple things for example, my wife and I went for lunch the other day to a place that we always love to go to I ordered a burger but when it was delivered it was raw, like really raw, apart from the outside appearing as if it was cooked, the inside was raw.
I thought it was really great how they handled that. I told them I would be happy to have the rest of the burger without the beef, they were like absolutely not we’re going to replace this burger and they were just so sincerely apologetic.
Whilst I was waiting, they offered me a drink of my choice and when I went to pay the bill, they had discounted my meal. They went above and beyond what I needed as an apology. It was so genuine. I was left feeling well taken care of and I thanked them letting them know the way they had handled this situation was amazing. Clearly, I will go back and have no hesitation in recommending them to friends and family.
Sometimes it’s those little things.
I’m talking to a new client, and we have been discussing the fact that some of the older employees have retired and the biggest challenge he is facing is the attitude of new employees.
Remember those days when everyone did whatever it took to make sure the customers were happy and that they experienced a level of service that was above and beyond what they expected.
If that meant dropping something off on the way home or staying a bit longer to fulfil on a promise, it was just what we did. Now, he’s struggling with new employees and a change in attitude. 5 o’clock, they end a call and go saying, I’ll call you back in the morning.
We cannot expect our employees to do this all the time yet trying to manage this attitude of everything’s done to the clock, just doesn’t work.
We need to be willing to be willing, even when we are unwilling!
I guess in every company, when you have employees on your front line, it’s important to have your aces in the right places.
So, working with this company, one thing I’ll be putting into place is – if you want people to go above and beyond make sure you acknowledge them when they do. When we say nothing, employees tend to do the minimum, but when you acknowledge someone, it’s more likely they will continue to deliver a higher level of service or productivity.
It can be as simple as saying, I see you’re here at six o’clock. I really appreciate the extra effort you put in to deal with (fill in the blank). Or even just a simple thank you.
Praise the behaviors you want to see repeated.
It’s important to note, I’m not saying that employees should do lots of overtime. This article is about encouraging employees to step up when needed and acknowledging them when they do so.
We had an amazing advertisement in New Zealand for an airline, as the story goes, someone left their car keys on the plane from the previous flight they were found just as they were about to take off. When it was brought to the pilot’s attention, he stopped the plane, waited for an airport car to line up on the tarmac with the plane and he dropped them out the window so they could get the keys to the passenger, and he could access his car. Fantastic story, it was a famous story for years and years. I’m sure you have heard many other examples of customers experiencing service that is above and beyond their expectations.
It’s about creating memories and customers never forget.
I know that there has been a lot of criticism of Qantas recently. It’s refreshing to see in a Qantas group chat the number of people that have been posting examples of above and beyond experiences like, the service manager coming to speak with frequent flyers individually. It’s very clear they are focusing on building on looking after their loyal customers. Again, it’s those little things that can make people feel really appreciated. It is these people who generate the largest portion of their revenue.
And, there are different scenarios and evidence view within the group. What are you doing in your business to go above and beyond? How do your service standards have you stand out from your competition?
It’s important to note, that although it is about doing the fundamental things consistently well and delivering on your promises, you cannot continue to do just the same things over and over. Customers get used to it and it then becomes the norm.
What else can you put into place? For example, I’ll do whatever it takes. I will often provide X and do X. Sometimes I ensure my clients are aware that I have not charged them for every single thing I do. I like to understand my clients’ businesses, so often, I will take time to familiarise myself with their business or experience their service as a mystery shopper at my own cost. Why? Because it helps me do my job better and ensures I can deliver on my promises, and I know that my clients will really appreciate that. When I do this, I am taking a long-term view.
Need more information? Have a look through my previous Blogs, located on The Loyalty Zone website or contact me, I look forward to hearing from you.
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