Customer Service: Talk to Me – Don’t Talk to Me

Another week, another round of Service encounters.

A hotel that claims to want to “ensure that every guest has a 10 out of 10 experience” doesn’t answer the phone when I call from my room to request a cab. When I go down to Reception, twoHI WiFi Team members are behind the desk, chatting. When I ask whether they had heard the phone, one says “I was just going to ring you; we had a little rush down here.”

The next morning, as I check out, I note that the duty manager doesn’t ask me about my stay. If she had, I would have let her know that the air conditioning in my room wasn’t working. I also notice a sign on the desk, inviting me to join the company’s “Rewards Club”, so that I can “upgrade to a super fast Wi-Fi service…from only £2.95.” I had already discovered that there was no free Wi-Fi access at the hotel.

Earlier in the week, I had stayed at another, “Luxury Boutique” hotel, where once again, I was not asked about my experience when I checked out. Had I been asked, I would have told them that my bathroom was really cold, and that I was surprised that the designation “luxury” did not imply more than seven TV channels. As none of the hotel’s Team members had looked me in the eye during my stay, however, I didn’t feel inclined to give them the gift of my feedback.

Little things. And yet, to quote Tom Peters in The Little BIG Things, “‘Small Stuff’ Matters. A Lot!”

Little things that set the tone.

Little things that say, “We care”. Or, “We don’t care”.

Little things like looking me in the eye.

Little things like asking for my feedback.

Little things like answering the phone.

Little things like providing free Wi-Fi (it’s 2016, for crying out loud!!!).

So here’s a little checklist for every Customer-facing business. Nothing on the list costs very much money (just commitment, and time); however everything on the list will definitely make you (more) money. And – before you read it – please don’t assume you do all this already, or do it well enough. With the greatest respect, I’ve read too many Customer Promises and experienced too many one-sided Service encounters to believe that there isn’t a single business that couldn’t benefit from reviewing this list:

  1. Hire nice people.
  2. Double your planned investment in training them to deliver your Customer Promise, every time, and then some.
  3. Give them every opportunity to contribute and grow.
  4. Give them every opportunity to tell you what’s really happening in your business.
  5. Provide your Customers with free, high-speed Wi-Fi (if you don’t, you presumably don’t know how people in 2016 want to live, work, shop and socialise).

That’s it. “Talk to me – don’t talk to me*.” It’s your choice. If you do, however, I guarantee you will be making more money a year from now than you are today.

  • i.e. your Customer

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this post, please contact me for support.

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