Friday, August 28, 2009

Little things matter. Make a service experience memorable.

A few service experiences in the last few days remind me how the little things matter. My daughter and were I shopping at Target and had a 44 pound bag of dog food loaded on the bottom rack of the buggy. As we were cruising down the aisle, it started to slide a bit forward and drag the ground. We both leaned over to push and shove it back when an employee stopped what he was doing and took care of the shoving for us. It was such a simple thing but memorable.

An incident at Panera Bread Company caught my attention also. I had waited in the line and had money counted out for my iced tea. I stop often so I knew $1.92 was what I owed. Much to my surprise the price had gone up by a few pennies so I start to fumble for the additional money. The employee was quick to take my $1.92 and asked that I not give him the additional. He said he appreciated me making Panera a regular stop and wanted me to enjoy my tea one more time at the old price. Again simple and memorable.

Too often team members do not take such action. They are very much aware of the customer’s need yet do nothing about it. So many have the ability to look through us, “appear busy” and ignore our plight. It is usually a well- rehearsed act. Most service continues to be mediocre at best.

For those of you in leadership, what are you doing to inspire your team members to serve at such a caring level? Are you making it clear that this level of service is expected? Are you rewarding exceptional service when you see it or hear about it? Most of this doesn’t happen by magically motivated employees, leaders must be dedicated to creating a culture of service excellence.

Little things matter.

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