This week we feature an article by Patricia Fripp, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. She writes about how one negative interaction can affect the customer’s overall experience. At a time when every customer counts, we must never forget how our customers see us. One single negative contact can ruin your reputation in […]
This week we feature an article by Patricia Fripp, executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. She writes about how one negative interaction can affect the customer’s overall experience.
At a time when every customer counts, we must never forget how our customers see us. One single negative contact can ruin your reputation in the eyes of not only that one customer but also everyone he or she knows. After all, word of mouth can work both for and against you.
You need to make sure everybody in your organization knows he or she is an important part of it. Each department depends upon and dovetails into the other to produce quality service or product. Everyone makes a difference: the sales force, the service technicians, the clerical staff, the PR department. They all work together toward the same goal, keeping the customers satisfied.
A perfect example of how everyone makes a difference is when I was in a Nashville hotel attending a Board of Directors meeting for the National Speakers Association. After the meeting, several of us went to the coffee shop to continue our deliberations. Each of us asked for exceptions or additions to the menu items, we wanted separate checks, and, to make things even more confusing, being speakers, we talked to each other continuously as the waitress patiently took our orders.
“My dear, all this confusion is going to be worthwhile. These guys are big tippers,” I said. She said, “I’m not being nice for a tip. It doesn’t even matter if I get a tip or not. If we give you good service, your group will bring back its business here and not to the competition.”
Isn’t that a marvelous attitude from someone on the front lines? I was so impressed that I wrote a letter to the hotel General Manager, congratulating him on his staff and especially the waitress at the coffee shop.
I never received a reply. That waitress wowed me with her service and her attitude, but the manager’s lack of response almost nullified her customer service savvy. Everyone makes a difference. I think the manager and the waitress should change places for a couple of weeks. She knows more about good PR than he does.
As the late great radio personality Paul Harvey said when we spoke at a convention in Las Vegas, “For a company’s advertising strategy to work, it has to be handled corporately and also individually.”
Recently I checked into a wonderful hotel in Southern California for a conference. As I got out of my taxi with two large suitcases and two smaller bags, I called to the only doorman, “Is there anyone to help me, please?” He was busy chatting to his two buddies, the valet parkers. He finally ran over and asked, “Are you checking in?”
A second hotel example.
My delayed flight arrived at the airport after 10 pm. I called my hotel and asked the desk clerk, “Can you send your hotel shuttle to pick me up?” He replied, “I will try to get it for you.” I said, “I would rather hear a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No,’ not ‘I’ll try.’ I am very happy to get a taxi, however, if you have a shuttle I won’t bill my client for the taxi.” His reply was, “Our shuttle only runs until 10 pm.”
Am I the only traveler who just wants a straightforward answer? Lesson learned: “I will try” means “Please take a taxi.”
Patricia Fripp is an executive speech coach and sales presentation skills trainer. She delivers her message through keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and in-depth customized training and coaching. Patricia is now virtually everywhere with FrippVT, her interactive, learn-at-your-own-pace, virtual presentation skills training.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: A PSA For Sales Leaders: Ditch Your Sales Scripts
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