Friday, March 4, 2011

The Power of "The Simple"

OK, here it comes, I am about to tell you something you know already --
Little stuff delivered well by your service team can create loyal customers. Whew, there I said it. Why? Because recent experiences reminded me of the power of “the simple”.

My daughter and I were shopping at Nordstrom for a pair of shoes. They were
actually flip flops for her and priced much higher than we normally purchase. The saleswoman was classic Nordstrom. She found the right size in the right color in the back. My daughter was questioning if this was the right size and after slipping them on, the saleswoman gave her a thumbs up stamp of approval. Here’s what I loved, – while I was signing the receipt, she looked at my daughter and asked, “Did you thank your Mom?” She did it in a very fun but motherly way. It was all very fitting and appropriate to her personality. It was a simple thing that worked well. Customer service combined with mothering is a good thing.

This next experience was at a Hyatt Place Hotel. While getting ready to speak
at a client’s team meeting, I needed to request an item from the staff. I ventured into the front desk area. The front desk team was quite busy so I wandered into the breakfast area where I was approached by Damian, part of the wait staff. I had not made eye contact with him, Damian just “saw” I needed help and asked what could he do for me. I love a proactive team member vs. the one who intentionally does not "see" the customer in need. Again, simple works.

At your next team meeting, discuss how the little, simple stuff can enhance the customer experience. Here is what simple can be –

Good manners
Anticipating the need
Thanking the customer for waiting or holding
Following up as promised
Calling to update on progress
Using the customer’s name
Ending the interaction with a sincere thank you

In my presentations, I speak about creating great customer experiences.
However, I believe the simple stuff is required as the foundation of customer service. That foundation creates an experience that is both valued and trusted by your customer.


Ian Clayton said...

SOlid examples of carefully designed moments of truth designed to leave a lasting impression with a customer, one they will remember and blog about! I like to separate plain interactions from these, as we experience so many of those on any given day, and service organizations just can't plan for them all.

This is why I promote the idea that a true moment of truth is a key interaction the service organization has selected to focus on because they feel, or know it counts.

The hotel one sounded like a 'moment of need' prompt.

Matt Dollinger said...

Lisa - thank you for boiling this down to the truest of all roots. I try to teach this in my company and speaking engagements all the time. I think that the simplest of all things (regardless of religious affiliation) is the Golden Rule - and this translates ESPECIALLY well with social media. On top of it to go in and implement this "kindness" strategy to your competition as you'll never know when you're going to end up doing a deal with them. Thanks for writing.

PS - don't know if you are a fan or not, but I would highly recommend checking out the book "Love is the Killer App" by Tim Sanders. Spot on with what you just wrote.

Matt Dollinger