Do you have a customer service secret weapon?

MelissaI love sharing positive customer service stories.  Unfortunately we often witness many poor service experiences so when a good one comes along I think we need to talk about it.

I recently spent some time at the Marcum Center on the campus of Miami University.   I’ve been there several times and someone there knows it.

Meet Melissa.  She is one of the professionals who take care of the front desk at the hotel/convention center.  She saw me first as I entered the lobby to check out and greeted me with a friendly “good morning” followed by “so glad to see you back with us”.

Here’s the catch. The last time I was there was in June – over 3 months ago.  Impressive.

I thanked her for remembering me (for frequent travelers, that’s such a nice touch) and that began our conversation.  I learned Melissa has been taking care of guests at the Marcum Center for ten years.    Before that she worked for 31 years as a manager in the manufacturing industry.  Upon retirement she said she was ready for something different and found her current job a perfect fit.  Why? I asked.  And to no surprise she replied, “I love helping people. And in this role, I get to meet people from all over the country each week.  What a treat for me.”  I just love that.

Each of us encounters service experiences daily. And in many instances, I suspect, the routines in our lives allow us to interact often with the same people.  This frequency drives the importance for your team to be more like Melissa.  Here are three skills she does well.

#1  She practices the Memory Game
She makes it a point to know her customers – their name, their face and their business.  As I stated earlier, it had been over 3 months since my last visit but she knew my name and face as I approached the lobby.  If she has that level of service for me, I can only imagine what she knows about those who visit more frequently.  What about your world?  How well do your employees really know your customers?  What impact to your results could occur if the effort increased by just 1%?

#2  She speaks First and Last
I didn’t have time to speak to Melissa first because she beat me to it.  The hotel lobby is her domain and she owns it.  As guests enter the area she makes it a point to great them.  But it’s more than a greeting. Her tone communicates a genuine interest in her customers.  She wants to help them.  Can you say the same for every employee on your team?

#3  She Wants to be There
Melissa took this job after retiring from a career in manufacturing and she considers it a treat to get to help people every day.  Talk about the right approach to a job – especially one in the service industry.  That intentional approach makes all the difference in not only what she does in her job but more importantly, how she does it.  She wants to be there and arrives each day with the goal of helping her customers.  What your team?  Do they really want to take care of your customers or is it what they have to do to receive a paycheck?

It’s no secret the marketplace is as competitive as it has ever been.  What experience are your customers receiving each day?  Do you have a “Melissa” or someone else?  Believe me, your customers can certainly tell the difference.  And unfortunately, you will too when they stop doing business with you.

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