Organisations often spend huge amounts of money and effort making the initial sale. Then neglect the one thing that significantly boosts
long term profitability. Keeping clients coming back buying more.
Enter the realm of customer service. But excellent customer service doesn’t happen by accident.
Smart organisations have processes and significant training in place to ensure customer delight.
But sometimes things go wrong. We all make mistakes. It’s called the human factor in business. But it’s how you deal with them that will make all the difference to how your customers perceive you.
And equally importantly, provide the greatest source of learning how to do better!
A couple of weeks ago we were at a restaurant the family’s been going to for years.
When we got there we were told our table wasn’t ready, and pointed to some seats in the corner where we duly sat for about 20 minutes.
At no stage did a staff member come and offer us a drink, nibbles or update us on when the table would be ready.
When the table was ready, they squeezed 5 of us onto a table for 4.
Now this may well sound petty on my part and to some extent it is. But it illustrates a principle.
This is not some cheap hole in the wall place. It’s relatively up-market and they should have known better.
Out of curiosity I visited their Facebook page and noticed a stream of “complaints” in recent reviews. Obviously other people are having issues.
What was once a great business could find itself losing its reputation and diving due to a diminishing level of customer service and arrogant attitude by management.
Contrast this with how a local Canberra Lebanese Restaurant positively surprised us.
We’d finished our meal and asked for a doggy bag.
It duly arrived, and they’d thrown in a generous quantity of tabouli salad and even extra Lebanese Bread to round it off. The lady serving us was smart. She casually mentioned it so we’d know.
Would I go back? Absolutely.
Often it doesn’t take much to go just that little bit extra. The shop assistant who walks with you to find the item on the supermarket shelf rather than just pointing in the general direction.
If only more organisations realised it is a matter of training their staff and setting behavioural expectations. And then learning from their mistakes!
Ingraining the core belief that everyone is “in sales” and that providing excellent customer service is key to getting repeat business.
Then they’d capitalise on all their marketing efforts to ensure people keep coming back for more.
And crucially in this social media world, telling others about their wonderful experience.