This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Mike Schoultz shares a few customer experience stories that demonstrate how companies have handled customer experiences, some well and some not so well. It is so important for employees to feel that they can make good customer focused decisions in every situation. – […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Mike Schoultz shares a few customer experience stories that demonstrate how companies have handled customer experiences, some well and some not so well. It is so important for employees to feel that they can make good customer focused decisions in every situation. – Shep Hyken
The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them— preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.
How many of you consider customer service or customer experience as elements of your marketing? Are customer experience stories growing in your companies’ marketing? And therefore are enablers for your word of mouth marketing strategy?
Consider this … if done well; don’t you think both could create things for customers to talk about?
Let me share a story with you as an example.
Recently I took my sister to our local credit union branch office to take care of three different transactions: getting a credit card reactivated, depositing coins, and ordering checks. The coins required a visit, but the other two transactions could have been done by phone or maybe online. I hoped one visit to a local branch would be easier, but deep down I feared it wouldn’t.
Frankly, I expected we’d be shuttled around the branch to different people to take care of each transaction. Or, worse, told to use the phone to call the credit card support number directly.
Instead, it turned into a quick and extraordinary experience. Because when we entered the branch, a banker warmly greeted us and asked how he could help. After learning what my sister needed to do, he invited us to sit down at his desk.
He then took care of everything: Called the credit card division of Wells Fargo to activate a credit card, took the coins to the teller to make the deposit and returned with a receipt, and ordered new checks. I call attention to the fact that the banker didn’t know us or how much money we had with the credit union
So you see how these events represent a great way to market to customers, don’t you? Think I would talk about my experience with my friends and neighbors? Most definitely.
Let me share 2 more personal experiences, 1 very good and 1 not so good:
PF CHANG’S RESTAURANT
My wife and I stopped by our local P.F. Chang’s Restaurant for lunch last month. It was a beautiful Florida spring day and since it was mid-week the restaurant wasn’t too busy, so we decided to sit on the patio. However, when we asked the hostess to be seated outside we were told that it would be 15-20 minutes before we could be seated. However, we could be seated immediately if we wanted to sit inside.
When I asked why we couldn’t be seated immediately … since about half the tables were open, we were told that there wasn’t enough staff scheduled on the patio to serve more tables.
Clearly, this service staff did not have the decision making authority for creating good customer experiences!
If there were enough staff in the restaurant to serve the total number of customers, then why couldn’t they simply reallocate some of the inside staff to serve outside on the patio?
If the hostess was delegated the decision making authority to take initiate to make every customer experience a good to great one, then perhaps this might have resulted differently?
I stayed in a new Marriott Courtyard hotel a while back. The situation was that it was recently opened and should not have been opened until the problems were worked out and management was ready. There were many problems, believe me and it started as a significant customer failure.
But not only did the staff take care of the issues for me, the manager, once he got me back to ‘even’, continued to build the relationship with me. His techniques included exceptional, personalized service … using my name in face-to-face greetings, and continued follow-up and attention to detail. He actually made me believe I was the best customer he had ever had. Not only did I forget about the earlier problems, but I was feeling great about the entire three-day experience.
Service recovery requires remaining with your customer, through follow-up, and through unexpected contact well after the issue. All customers deserve our best service … but the ones that have a negative experience represent an opportunity to define a business.
Such an opportunity represents an opportunity to turn customers into enthusiasts and maybe even advocates. And that requires going beyond the ‘break-even’ point for that customer.
Research has shown time and time again that customers who reported a problem and were delighted with the outcome have higher satisfaction with the business than the ones who never experienced a problem. So these results show the importance of turning customer failure into full customer recovery.
Why should any company not want to seize such an opportunity?
Try it … the next time you have a customer who has had a bad experience with your business. You will be amazed at the results.
The bottom line
We need to shift our focus from identifying touch points on the consumer decision journey to enhancing experiences all the way through. While everyone loves to talk about the significance of data and technology for social media marketing, we still have yet to completely bridge the gap between crafting messages and designing experiences, have we?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience and in his third career, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Customer Success Is Proving That The Customer Made The Right Decision To Do Business With You
Sign up for instant access to Shep’s research report on customer service and customer experience.
"*" indicates required fields
© 2023 Shepard Presentations, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Legal Information | Sitemap | Site by: digitalONDA
Legal Information | Sitemap Legap
Site by: digitalONDA