See Your Company From Your Customer’s Point of View

Do you ever stop to think about the experience your customer is having with your company, staff, product or service? You might want to sit in their seat periodically. Business owners move a mile a minute. There is so much to do, monitor, take care of. It’s easy to assume that the customer is being taken care of. Not only being taken care of, but being treated well. After all, wouldn’t they say something if they weren’t?

Well, the answer to that question is ‘no.’ Most people just find another solution, another vendor. The sad thing is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money, or time, or effort to create a positively memorable experience. It does, however, cost a lot to replace those customers who leave.

Consider these 3 examples of customer experience:

  1. You walk into a service business where you’ve been told you can stop in any time between 8:00 – 5:00. It’s around 2:00 pm and there is one staff person in the office. You tell them who you are, and remind them of the phone calls you’ve exchanged with them. They say they’ll be with you in a minute as they stare at their computer screen. They then tell you they are at lunch.  Then, as they reluctantly get up from their desk they tell you they are trying to see a speech from the night before. A speech they missed because a storm caused their power to go out.

Hmmm. Is that good customer service? You’ve never done business with them before and yet this individual is telegraphing that they are more concerned with their personal life than they are with taking care of you. Will you do business with them again? Not if you think this is how you are going to be treated.

     2. You arrive at your hotel after driving through a storm and rush hour traffic. You are  
         greeted by happy, smiling people, and a dog. Everyone welcomes you and gets you
         registered quickly. As you leave to go get dinner you ask if they know what the next
         day’s weather will be like. Their response? ‘We’ll have it for you when you get back.’
         Sure enough, when you walk back into the hotel they hand you a sheet of paper with
         the weather forecast.

They got on it, found out what the weather would be like, and were waiting for you to come back so they could share it with you. Every encounter with every staff person signaled that they valued having you as a guest and were happy to help you with anything you needed. Will you stay there again? Most likely. Because you know it will be easy, and an enjoyable experience.

     3. While you are out of town you have dinner at a restaurant and accidentally leave your
         sunglasses on the table. When you get up the next morning you discover they are
         gone. When the restaurant opens you call to see if they have them. The person who
         answers the phone tells you there are about 5 pairs there and you’ll have to come in
         to see if any of them are yours. When you are leaving town you decide to get off the
         highway to see if, indeed, your sunglasses are there. You go in and ask. One person
         says they remember seeing them. 

         When you tell the manager that someone told you there were several pairs of
         sunglasses there they go looking for the sunglasses, and the person who answered
         the phone. While you are there you decide to order some food for your drive home.
         The manager comes back and tells you there are no black sunglasses there. You
         explain that while you understand the person probably assumed there were
         sunglasses there, you wouldn’t have gotten off the highway if they hadn’t told you
         they had black sunglasses. While you’re not mad you are a little frustrated. You’ve
         interrupted your trip for no reason. When you get your food and prepare to pay the bill
         the waiter tells you that the manager is paying for it. He understands the
         inconvenience of going out of your way because of something one of his employees

You weren’t expecting anything other than the apology the manager gave you. After all, things happen. That he went one step further speaks volumes about how he feels about customer experience. The manager wanted to be sure to take good care of you, and to make up for the bad experience you had. Will you eat there again when you are in town? Probably. After all, you now know they take customer care seriously.

These are just a handful of experiences I’ve had in the past week. People are having good and bad customer experiences every day. And they matter. So, give this some thought with your business. Don’t assume you know how everyone is treated your customers. And don’t assume all of your employees know what your expectations are. Make sure everyone is on the same page providing the kind of customer experience you believe will not only keep them coming back, but also singing your praises.

I would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Athens Ohio as well as the manager of the Applebee’s in Athens for reminding me that good customer service is alive and well!

Copyright© 2016 Seize This Day

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