June 2016
Thanks for reading our newsletter where we'll share tips and trends on all aspects of communication and digital marketing! As always, please message us with any subjects you might like covered in future issues! 

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In This Issue
Every organization would say that they have excellent customer service - but do they really? The attitude of your customer-facing employees makes or breaks that customer's experience, and a great employee can overcome a multitude of missteps. Often, these are not high-salaried employees (C-level, for instance) and companies may neglect to invest in training these employees. Big mistake: invest in them FIRST.

Customer Service Demonstrated 
  • I stopped at a hotel near our airport to pick up a guest, and was sitting in the lobby waiting. The restaurant was located off the lobby in a beautiful atrium area. A uniformed worker came over to ask if I would like a complimentary breakfast; I explained that I wasn't staying there, just waiting for a guest. He just as enthusiastically invited me again to have breakfast while I was waiting, or could he get me a cup of coffee? I saw him similarly invite everyone who passed by, and ran to grab to-go cups of coffee for guests who were leaving the hotel for meetings. I don't know whether he was a manager, worked in the breakfast area or was a maintenance worker - it didn't matter. Because of his welcoming attitude, I would definitely recommend the Wyndham Garden Hotel near DTW.
  • We recently had a family dinner at a restaurant we've been to many times. We noticed that it was quite unusually crowded for a late Tuesday night. Our server was attentive; appetizers came right away...then it took over an hour to get our entrees, which were lukewarm and did not look up to their usual quality. Our server was apologetic and sent the manager over, who also apologized and took several entrees off of our bill, as well as a couple of drinks. We were not happy with the experience, but were willing to chalk it up to a bad night in the kitchen. If we had not been there before, we would have thought that this is typical and would not have gone back. Likewise, if we had not said something to the server or manager, they would not have had the opportunity to apologize and do what they could to appease us. 
  • One of our clients recently had difficulty with a recreational vehicle dealer: couldn't get responses to phone calls, had the RV in for service with no updates, no timeline and no resolution. Finally resorted to airing his grievances on social media (this is VERY effective, so beware!). Low and behold, that RV dealer is now extremely interested in solving the problem. Too little, too late. Even if they do fabulous work at this point, that customer is gone and being very vocal about the experience.
A quick tangent: Social media offers the opportunity for a company to show how they solve problems (or not!). No one is perfect and at some point, some employee is going to mess something up - that doesn't mean all is lost. If you respond quickly, demonstrate that you understand the problem, FIX the problem or otherwise satisfy your customer, you will likely retain them and even turn them into advocates. Note to companies: respond to your customers BEFORE they air their grievances on social media!

What Every Employee Should Know:

The company values & mission:  Why do you exist? What impression do you want to leave with your customers or clients?

What problems can they solve themselves? Make sure employees understand how far they can go to resolve an issue. If there are limits as to what they can handle, make sure they know who to contact immediately to get an answer or resolution for the customer.

What "exceptional service" means, and that it will be rewarded.(I come from the incentive world, so I can't help myself!) The more you share stories internally and reward the type of service behavior you value, the more likely it is to be repeated. "Exceptional customer service" is relative, and each person may have their own opinion as to what constitutes "exceptional". By sharing examples, you'll be able to describe exactly what is expected. 

The Golden Rule goes Corporate

When in doubt, you can always revert to the Golden Rule: it's hard to go wrong if you treat your clients and customers the way that you'd like to be treated. We've all experienced really good and really bad service - make sure you're in the first category!