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The Pursuit of Remarkable Customer Service

When was the last time that you had truly awesome service? Do you remember what it looked and felt like? Can you think back when the service you received, or didn’t receive was less than awesome, or poor?

In our pursuit of remarkable customer service, are we increasing or lowering our expectations? In Alberta, finding new people to hire for service roles can be a challenge. This challenge, coupled with a lack of training due to ongoing business pressures, creates more problems.

A tale of two customer service stories. One awesome and one not so good!

Many years ago when I lived in British Columbia, I would go for lunch with customers and business associates to a great little Italian restaurant. The food was incredible and the service outstanding! One day I arrived on short notice with two guests and I didn’t have a reservation. I met my favourite server and he of course greeted me: “Good afternoon Mr. Mack.” I said hello, smiled and noted that I unfortunately didn’t have a reservation and I could see that the restaurant was starting to pack with loyal customers. His response to my statement that I didn’t have reservations was the best that I have ever heard and I still share the story today. “Mr. Mack, that becomes my problem.” Within one minute of hearing that, I was seated with my two guests. That event happened over 20 years ago and it still resonates in my mind today.

Recently, I went to a local store (I will leave out the name) to buy an SD memory card for my GOPro camera. I was in a hurry so when I entered the store I asked an employee of the store where I could find an SD card. She pointed and said, “they are over there behind that counter.” I asked if she could show me the options. She stood beside me and pointed to the cards hanging on the wall 6 feet away from us. The packaging was small, so we couldn’t actually make out the details on each package. I said in a “calm but hurried voice” would you mind going behind the counter because I actually want to buy one. She hesitated, and eventually went back to retrieve a package from the wall. I was frustrated and the reality is I intended to buy one regardless, simply because I was in a hurry. Those types of stories happen often, but I am sure that 20 years from now I won’t remember the experience, yet I will still remember the great service from the Italian restaurant.

Why is that? Is it because remarkable customer service is less common? As customers are we still in the Pursuit of Remarkable Customer Service? I challenge you to think about the service you are consistently providing to your customers in the weeks and months ahead. How can you and your team create a service culture that is remarkable in your business and industry?

Remarkable service comes in many forms, and many places
Remarkable service comes in many forms, and many places

 

“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” -Walt Disney

photo credit: Disneyland via photopin (license)

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