I don’t know about you but whenever I get good service it makes a good impression – a smiley face, a welcome or some form of engagement which, in effect, says ‘we pleased to see you today’.
A staff member who, in some way, goes that ‘extra mile’. It may not be written in the job description or part of ‘company process’, but it’s a little different, so leaving with a good feeling I think, ‘I’ll be going back there’.
Of course, the ultimate test is what happens when you do go back. Will the approach be the same, or if that particular staff member is away, will it revert back to the norm, the much duller, adequate type of service, which is becoming more common these days.
More astute companies recognise that the Customer must be put at the top of their priorities, knowing that satisfied customers will not only come back but will tell others about their experience. Hence, doing much of your sales job for you!
I’m a Pret a Manger fan. A few years ago, I told the server that on a previous visit (a couple of days before) that the green bag in my tea had spilt. Immediately, she said ‘this one is on the house’. The next day she gave me another despite me saying I must pay. Since then I have experienced this approach in various Prets, where due to an error or misunderstanding (on either side), the response has been similar. The policy being that the local manager can decide how best to deal with a customer and incidentally, none were in complaint or unpleasant circumstances.
Subsequently, I’ve suggested to many that they should go to Pret and I wonder how many other ‘Ambassadors’ they have who are doing the same.
I’m not recommending that you follow this exact approach but this example makes the point that for a minimal cost with the right commitment, the gain can be immense.
The B to B scenario is more complex, but the basic principles are the same. Raise customer awareness and importance within the company, make sure all customer facing staff (and others) are kept informed about, or can access, key information so that no matter who answers the phone, the baton can be picked up and things moved forward.
And this, of course, is where CRM comes in!