April is Customer Loyalty Month. To celebrate, I share a few examples of great service that were submitted by the loyal readers of this blog. It’s nice to read something positive – aren’t we all getting tired of that United Airlines story?
Lindsey Hartig, Marketing Manager at Martin Resorts on California’s Central Coast, shares this story…
“At Pismo Lighthouse Suites, a son collected sand dollars for his dad since his dad couldn’t be with him on his trip. Unfortunately, he left them in the suite when he checked out and housekeeping threw away. The boy was very upset when he told his father he left them and the father called the hotel just to see if we had them.
Matt, a Guest Services Supervisor, took the call and said he would go to the beach and collect some for them and then mail them. Matt went to Morro Bay on his day off and collected a bunch, including the ‘dime sized’ one the son had found. They were shipped off the next day.”
Helene Wein, Director, Global Accounts at HelmsBriscoe, shares this story…
“Just got back from a work trip. Wish I would have gotten the name of the attendant, it happened so fast, and I was so impressed. Having just come from our group meeting at the restaurant, we had walked upstairs to attend an after dinner reception. I hadn’t gotten but just a few feet from the door and I started sneezing. Not usually a big deal, I sneeze in threes. (more…)
Here’s one of the best examples of how to create customer loyalty that I have ever seen. It happened while I was working at the Hilton Newark Airport Hotel in 2003.
We had a fantastic staff, happy employees and a robust business. One day there was a buzz that traveled all around the hotel. “Did you hear what happened?” “You’re kidding, I don’t believe it.” “When did that happen?” “He really did THAT?”
We had a great front desk employee, Alberto. Always smiling, he knew the hotel like the back of his hand and the guests loved him. A model employee.
One Sunday evening, a guest checked in and, after emptying his luggage, realized that he had forgotten his suit. That’s bad enough, but the story gets worse. The next day, Monday, he had a job interview scheduled at 10am. He quickly began to panic, knowing he would never be able to go to the interview without a suit on. He was confident he would miss his chance at this job, the job he flew 1000 miles for. He called down to the desk hoping to find out if there was a late night department store in the area where he could purchase a suit, ANY suit.
Realizing the dire circumstance of this guest, Alberto sprang into action. (more…)
Following in his father’s footsteps as a baker, and at the age of 23, Armando Leyva and his wife Lorely, started their own bakery business. Still a novice to the bakery world, Armando leaned on his father’s many years of experience as a bread master and, much to his surprise, realized the bakery was much more than just bread. Soon he and his wife would discover the many talents needed to operate a successful business. There was much to learn.
The business’s staple, bread, was the start then pastries and desserts came next. Finally, special occasion cakes and the personalized decorations that came with it rounded out the core products they so willingly shared with their customers.
The neighborhood bakery, named La Gran Via Bakery, became the place to be when in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn NY.
Fast forward 39 years and the business is now operated by the next generation of Leyvas, Royd and Betsy.
During a trip last month to Brooklyn, my hometown, my wife suggested we stop off at her “favorite Spanish bakery” to get some treats not available in my neighborhood. How could I resist?
As we entered the store my senses were quickly met with the aroma of fresh pastry, chocolate and strong coffee. Then a friendly voice came from behind the counter, “That’s ok, that’s ok, I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that”.
Life is stressful. The societal pressures of work, providing for your family, body image, social media, etc. are bad enough; the last thing you need early in the morning is a grumpy ticket agent to start your day off on a miserable note. Here’s my story…
I haven’t taken the train into New York City, from my home in New Jersey, in roughly 10 years. I sure don’t miss the crowds or the unfriendly ticket agents. Guess dealing with fellow commuters gets to them too. Today was to be different…
On the New Jersey Transit trains there are blue-suited attendants, ticket agents, who monitor the passengers to ensure they have a valid ticket to ride the train. One by one they stop by each seat and collect the ticket, punch a hole in it and move on to the next passenger.
This is what you usually hear…
“Tickets, get your tickets out”. “Have your tickets ready” or some similar phrase.
Never a please, or hello and definitely not a good morning.
Sliding into my seat I waited patiently for the “floor show” to begin. That’s what I used to call the banter between the agent and hapless passenger.
“Hey, good morning, thanks. Have a great day”. “Morning, how are you doing today?” “Hello, may I have your ticket please?” “Great, thanks and have a wonderful day”.
After 146 years, the show that has created memories for countless children of all ages will finally come to a close. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, citing a “variety of factors” will end its spectacular traveling road show in May of this year.
The company started by Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum brought joy, amazement and wonder to millions of people through the years by providing sights, sounds and circumstances not normally available to the public.
Thinking back on the fond childhood memories, as I sat with my mother in the seats of New York’s Madison Square Garden watching the elephants parade around or looked up in wonder at the daredevil trapeze artists, I still can place myself in the arena. Images forever etched in our mind allow us to relive the experience as we see fit. PT created an experience.
Is it one of joy, satisfaction, or frustration? Is it full of unexpected “extras” given with an abundance of smiles or a less than adequate attempt of service due to poor preplanning? Do you provide a service that is memorable or spend too much time explaining your shortcomings?
The PT Barnums and Walt Disneys of this world created experiences that were/are unrivaled in the world of business. They took hold of your emotions and wouldn’t let go until all your senses were touched. (more…)
Year after year we hope service and the customer experience gets better. But great service comes at a cost, a high labor cost that many businesses are not willing or able to pay. So what are their options? Technology, that’s it. Or is it?
Ever see those little boxes that pop up on the bottom right of your screen saying “Hi, I’m Susan and I’m here to help you”? Come on, do you really think Susan is there to answer your questions? Well, when these “bots” first started to appear, I must admit I did! I felt so foolish when I realized it was just another way to interact with the online customer.
“Chat bots”, short for chat robot, is a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence.*
I thought email was the preferred method to contact a business’s service or help desk. Now I need to deal with a talking computer? I guess I’m still old fashioned.
Virtual Reality and Holograms
This cutting edge technology can allow a customer to stand still while they virtually “try on” various articles of clothing. Just (more…)
Evan Carmichael was named one of the Top 100 Great Leadership Speakers by Inc. Magazine and is an Entrepreneurship Expert helping countless people reach their dreams. Visit his website here or follow him on Twitter @EvanCarmichael.
There’s a reason why Apple is a leader in not only technology but customer service too. They actually provide the vehicle(s) needed to service their customers’ needs. It’s not based on what Apple wants but on what their customers’ need. Here’s how I found out.
I purchased a new iPhone 6 Plus on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. After the initial plinking with my new toy I put it to rest so I can visit family for the holiday. On Friday I returned to my investigation of my new gadget. All went well.
As a kid growing up in Brooklyn New York I spent countless hours with my best friend. We were neighbors and always together. Whether going to the movies, playing ball or doing other “kid stuff”, we had great times together.
Moving forward many years I sat down today to write a new article on what makes great customer service. As I listed specific characteristics I realized how much in common they have with a good friend, a BFF (best friend forever).
Here’s 8 Ways Great Service is Just as Special as Your BFF
A Warm Smile
Your eyes widen, your stress and anxiety lessens and your day seems a little brighter. That’s what your BFF’s smile does for you. The world is a better place because of him/her.
When we enter a business nothing starts the interaction off better than a warm welcome –
“Good afternoon, welcome to ___________, how may I help you today?” Follow next with a sincere smile and you are off to a great customer service start. Great businesses hire for personality first and train for the job skills second.