I spent Memorial Day in CT and went with some friends to a beach with our families. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun just relaxing.
What stood out for me this day was the customer service delivered by an employee at the concession stand. The young lady working behind the counter had a radiant smile and cheery disposition. The first time I went up there was not a long line but of course the kids were all asking for things at the same time and never once did she lose her composure. In fact she looked at each child and made sure their question was answered
Later in the day when I returned for a second round of drinks/food the line was longer and even more hectic but this girl did not ever seem to let it rattle her. Even if she made a mistake she smiled and laughed and got on with it and this gave the customers a sense of relief and no one was stressed.
I made sure to tell her that she was doing an outstanding job and I could see that she appreciated the comment. As I walked back with my food, I made a mental note to make sure my employees are doing the same for our customers. Are they out there hustling each day to make sure all questions are answered? Are they keeping up a cheery disposition so that they customers don’t see the stress? Are we delivering excellence?
What would the answer be when you ask the same questions about your staff? Are you making sure that they are working diligently to deliver excellence to each and every customer and when something is not right you are working to fix it with a positive disposition?
It is a sad state of affairs but consumers are getting used to mediocre or poor service so when they see excellence it really stands out. You have the opportunity to differentiate yourself in your market by simply focusing on improving how you are delivering your product to your customers. With all of the focus currently on customer reviews, you can distance yourself quite easily from your competition if you deliver great service and have a well thought out reputation management strategy.
Remember that every business is in the customer business. Even if an employee is not customer facing, their work impacts what is delivered so they also need to be executing their tasks with passion and a sense of purpose.
My simple rule of thumb is this: Give your customers a better level of service than you would expect in the same circumstance. It is a great place to start. And keep smiling. It makes the job more enjoyable and your customers will keep coming back.