National Customer Service Week is October 7-11, 2013. It is a week we spotlight the power and prosperity found in delivering an innovative customer experience. In the days leading up to Customer Service Week we will offer a key principle you can use to elevate the delight in your customers’ experience. Today, it’s all about effortless service experience with The Easy Button Principle.
Customers today are intolerant of having to invest time and effort in getting the service they expect. And, one of their biggest peeves is waiting! It makes me recall how my dad managed our “are-we-there-yet” impatience on a long car trip with a game of “counting cows.” The rules were simple: each person took one side of the car when the journey began. One point was given for every cow you saw on your side; five points for every horse, and if a graveyard appeared on your side, you lost all your points and had to start again. Active participation in a simple game made the trip seem shorter.
A customer staying at a Homewood Suites in San Antonio arrived at the breakfast buffet before it was completely set-up. Because the guest demonstrated a noticeably friendly attitude, the Homewood employee in charge of set-up asked, “You want some early morning fun?” “You bet,” the guest replied. “Okay,“ the employee said, “Grab those cereal boxes over there and set ‘em out like this was gonna be a breakfast party.” Within minutes the buffet was ready. The guest’s face revealed his pride in a job well done as the first guests arrived for breakfast. While some guests might only want to be served, the Homewood employee accurately gauged this one would get a charge out of being an involved participant rather than an impatient bystander.
What can you do to show customers the EASY BUTTON? Create options for self-service but always with quick, easy access to a live person. Look at all service processes through your customers’ eyes. Examine all service encounters with your anxiety meter and find ways to remove the angst from each customer’s experience. If you can’t reduce customer wait, manage the perception of wait as a bank does when it puts a TV in the teller line for customers to watch as they wait. Treat your colleagues like your most important customer.
Tomorrow, we wrap up our series of National Customer Service Week Bulletins with The Panning for Gold Principle and a surprise gift!