I evaluate customer service for a living, so I see a lot of what goes on out there. I happened to be talking to a woman the other day who asked me what I did for a living. When I told her I was the owner of a mystery shopping company, she told me that she hoped more companies would hire me because “service sure is lousy out there.” It made me really sad to hear her say that.
But not everyone is lousy. I find that it is usually only the best in an industry that engage in the mystery shopping and customer survey process. Take for example a restaurant I am going to tomorrow for lunch. I went on line and made a reservation. I’ve eaten at this establishment before and the meal and service were excellent. I am hoping this time is no exception. But here is where this organization has taken a “different path.” I got a phone call from the restaurant today, 24 hours in advance of my reservation, to confirm that I will be their guest tomorrow. This is clearly a marketing and customer service differentiator. No other restaurant that I know of, does this. Customers make their reservations and if you show up, you show up. If you don’t …oh well. Taking this approach makes this restaurant stand out from the rest.
Here are the subliminal messages that confirmation call sent to me as a consumer:
1. I matter to them.
2. They are expecting me.
3. They want me to have a good experience.
Already, I feel great about having chosen this venue for my lunch appointment.
So what can you do to stand out in your industry? What can you put into play today that will make a difference to your customers? What will make them sit up, notice you are different, and appreciate being your customer?
I can’t wait to have lunch tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it, not only because I’ll be connecting with a good friend of mine, but because the overall good experience has already begun for me. It all started with that call to confirm that I will be their guest tomorrow.
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