I’m fortunate enough to travel to some great places to serve my clients. During those travels I can’t help but have many customer service interactions from which to draw lessons. Today I’ll share how BBQ, airplanes, and coffee can teach you a few things to do (or not do) to create a better experience for your customers.
Last week I was in Chicago and Memphis. In Chicago, I showed up early for a breakfast meeting. I got there 15 minutes before the client team arrived. The restaurant was still setting up the private room for breakfast. The wait staff was running around doing last minute preparations. I decided to stay out of their way and await the arrival of the client.
The hostess was helping set up the room (apparently the team was a little short-staffed that morning). When I arrived, she stopped what she was doing and asked if I would like some coffee. When I eagerly said “Yes!” she set down what she was working on, went and got me a cup of coffee, went back into the kitchen and made a second trip to my table to bring some cream and sugar. Her actions sent a clear message – even though she was busy, her customer was more important than what she was working on in that moment.
How often do your team members stop what they’re working on to help a customer? Do they treat the customer’s arrival as something special and important? Have you created a culture where your team is encouraged to behave that way? Consider doing so. It makes a difference.