Recently, I personally had a not even close to satisfying customer service experience at a place where they boast they deliver, "The Luxury Hotel Experience," with "Unparalleled Service." Sadly, they over promised and way under delivered. This experience (or lack there of) has left me searching for the businesses that get and deliver a Customer Centric Experience. (The sad puppy eyes tell all...)
Do I start with what Customer Centric means, because I feel like there are a lot of companies out there that give this responsibility to the sales and customer service departments only, when in fact, this is the mistake. Real customer-centric businesses invest the whole team focus on supporting their prospective and existing customers.
I was raised to care deeply about the lessons my parents instilled in me in regards to manners. They were completely inflexible about me saying "please" and "thank you." It was expected that I would address adults with terms such as "Yes, sir," "Yes, ma'am," and "Mr." and "Mrs." My mother also taught me how to write a proper thank you note, and to this day, I will still write three paragraphs, just like she taught me. So why do I mention all of this? Where have manners gone? In the hospitality industry, one would hope manners matter and would get the focus it deserves with people serving people. Yet, still, we are often surprised with the poor manners displayed around us in the service industry.
"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use." Emily Post
This will be our 4th year in a row providing you with some darling holiday enjoyment during this wonderful time of the year. Is there anything sweeter than the innocence of a child's view on how the world runs? Their perspective and beliefs on subjects like customer service are so straightforward and simple. Children's thoughts are pure and non-complicated, and this is where the lesson comes in for the adults.
So for your entertainment, we asked a group of kindergartners (5 and 6 years old) questions about customer service, and each year, we receive some very insightful answers. Their understanding on what good and bad customer service looks like to them is simple and basic and comes from a place of if it "feels good" or it doesn't. And, at the core of all that we strive for in providing good customer service, isn't that a great jumping off point to focus on? Simplifying the customer experience through these basic, yet insightful understandings are perhaps the real lesson.
In the hospitality industry "wow factor" is a phrase not only used, but something the industry strives to achieve in the service they provide. There is a short list of companies that are noted and revered for consistently achieving this service level. The challenge that we see is executing and delivering the "wow factor" is often misunderstood.
Here's what I mean, as a consumer, we expect a certain level of good, consistent service and anything above this is a bonus. This isn't close to the level of service we are talking about regarding "wow." Studies show that 65% of customers that are "satisfied" will end up taking their business somewhere else for a better offer (better service). Customers are not "wowed" by expected service, but rather by the unexpected service provided that met a need they didn't even know they had. This is what separates the "good" from the "great."