Some friends were visiting last weekend, so my wife and I took them out for breakfast Sunday morning at a new restaurant in town – one of those family breakfast-type places. We had a great experience. Note I didn’t say we had a great breakfast, because whenever you go to a restaurant, you are looking for more than good food. You are looking for a really good experience. Part of that experience is the food, of course, and part is the atmosphere. But a very important part of it is your interaction with the staff. As it turned out, our waitress was excellent even though nothing that she did was extraordinary, exceptional or even what I would consider above average. But I’ll let you be the judge.
She approached our table soon after we were seated. She didn’t greet us with, “Hi. What can I get you to drink?” Instead, she said, Good morning! Thanks for coming in. Isn’t it a beautiful day? Though a bit chilly,” with a big smile on her face. We all agreed. I cracked a joke, and everyone laughed including her. She then asked what we wanted to drink, brought our drinks quickly and took our orders always being very pleasant. When our order can, she asked if we needed anything else, brought what we requested, and said, “Well, please enjoy your meal,” again in a way that suggested that she actually meant it. She stopped by a couple times (without being called over) to refill our drinks and take our plates. When she brought the bill, it had a handwritten smiley face and “thank you” with her first name on it. Once the bill was settled, she again smiled broadly, thanked us and wished us a great day.
It's How You Make Them Feel
Anything extraordinary there? No. And yet when we left, we felt better than when we came in, not just because we were full, but because of our interaction with this employee. You see, she raised our emotional capital and, thus, contributed to a positive experience. And that is what will bring us back. In sum, it was less about what she did and more about how she did it. In my training, I always emphasize that is it not about what you do for your customers. It’s about how you make your customers feel that is important for creating the positive experience that will bring your customers back and get them to promote you to others.
Whatever your business, if your team has direct interaction with customers, you need to define the experience you what them to have. Then determine what needs to be done and how it should be done to create that experience. Don’t place your emphasis on extraordinary actions. Place it on consistent actions done in a way that produces the experience desired by your customers. If you don’t know what that desired experience is, talk to your customers. You will be surprised at the little changes you can make that will create a world of difference in customer perception and give you a competitive edge.
And may all your customers be devoted customers!
Dr. Dennis Rosen is the WinFluence® expert on customer service and sales improvement for retailers, service providers and sales professionals. More information is available at www.face2faceservice.com.
© 2014 - 16 by Dennis L. Rosen.