“Hello Mr. Harvill and welcome to the __________________ hotel. Thank you for being a Rewards Member. Have you stayed with us before?”
I looked a the young lady with a blank expression and said; “Do you realize that they have mapped out the very DNA that makes up the unique nature of every human being? Did you know they control a robot rover on the planet Mars with a laptop computer? Yet your reservation system does not seem to know that I have stayed at this very hotel over 50 times. You or a teammate asks me every time I arrive at your front desk if I have ever stayed here. What is the purpose of that question? Is it to introduce the location of the lobby elevators or point out the restrooms?” She answers, “its part of our welcome script.”
Ahh, customer service by dogma and rote.
Colin and I have the honor of teaching our customer service strategic platform – A STEP AHEAD to lots of companies every year. Big, multinational firms and small start ups and established organizations all really want a well trained staff. We customize our core content to create the desired outcome for each client. One of the key elements that we instill in our content is that the customer facing staff, if trained correctly, can actually use their own brains and with the right foundation can create micro-relationships that have the POTENTIAL to create long term clients.
We hear this all the time, our company is so big that the only way we can assure the basics are done right is to take that very thinking out of their hands. HUH? I guess judgment doesn’t scale.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel and Resort brand has 84 luxury properties in 26 countries. They have thousands of employees, yet every time you encounter a team member they make you feel like you are a king or queen. The landscape crew will turn off their leaf blowers when they see anyone coming. Guess what? They charge more for this type of service. They teach the idea of good judgment and hold team members accountable.
After a strong training program in the core aspect of customer service, luxury retailer Nordstroms expects you to apply those basics using GOOD JUDGMENT.
Try to find a bad interaction with Chick-fil-A or Discount Tire employee. They are rare for a reason. They train with intent.
Service is about emotion and a script seldom touches or creates an interaction that will engage anyone to your brand.
Here is our formula (yep, 3 parts)
- Train to your core foundation.
- Give responsibility.
- Allow for inevitable mistakes and expect the mistakes to be corrected.
At the end you build TRUST.
Most customer touching service providers operate in fear. They are afraid of making a mistake. This fear is created from your culture. Fear is created in an instance, trust on the other hand is part of construction process.
Take a few moments and check in on how you train the people that face your clients. Teach them the foundation and then instill in them good judgment. If you do this correctly, your company will be A STEP AHEAD.
By the way, my grocery store clerk knows who I am and ALWAYS addresses me by name. Their system tells them who I am. It’s a nice touch!