What is exceptional customer service?
It is making that one human being in front of you feel, for those moments you are together, they are the most important person in the world. There's nothing you wouldn't do to make their day better. There's nothing you would hold back. It's all about the customers' positive experience.
For nearly twenty years I've been saying in my speeches and writings that my litmus test is the answer to this one question:
Would a customer be willing to crawl naked over broken glass to return to your store?
If not, you still have work to do.
If you think it is OK for you to remain silent to customers, huddle by the counter, or for your customers to feel unsatisfied when they call your store, you probably won't appreciate the story I'm about to share. For the rest of you, read on...
Cynthia and Tim Holliday's daughter Faith wanted to go to Roy's in Sarasota, Florida, for her 9th birthday dinner. As Tim told me, "Not that we go there all the time because it is on the pricey side, but that's what she likes for her special day."
"Ok, I know it's a chain, but they really run the place like it's locally run, which they do a great job of. They keep electronic records of their customers, so they know how often they come in, what they like, and so on. They treat the kids great, as they get a free cheese tortilla with apples and carrots shortly after they sit down."
Now, if you are unfamiliar with Roy's Hawaiian Fusion restaurants, here is an overview from the About section of their website, "In Hawaii, there are two things of equal importance—food and the "Aloha" spirit. The blending of these two dynamic principles is how Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine was born. European techniques and Asian cuisine meet Hawaiian hospitality to create a fine dining experience unlike any other. Where the "Aloha" style of service comes straight from the heart, and where any occasion becomes an unforgettable evening."
They had asked Tim when he made the reservation to email a picture to them, shown here. They decorated the table with little sparkle "Happy Birthday" pieces and printed a little birthday story with his daughter's name on the front of the menus for the table.
After the family arrived, Roy's employees took Faith back into the kitchen, where she helped make a sushi roll, which ended up being complementary.
Of course, they brought her a dessert that had "Happy Birthday" written on the plate in chocolate.
And the waiter took a picture of the three of them, which was then printed and delivered to the table in Roy's picture frame.
Tim shared, "Memorable experience? It couldn't be any better. Customer service?
This is the kind of thing we like to try and take and modify for use in our retail shop, so customers leave and want to talk about us to everyone they know."
Smart marketing? Sure.
One could say, It's easier for a restaurant than a retail store; they told them it was a birthday. Well, true, but name one other restaurant that took as much initiative for your birthday.
I doubt any.
I share this story because when you are in the presence of exceptional customer service, you know it. It is real.
And while we all believe we are giving an engaging customer experience or striving to deliver it, how many of your employees know what an exceptional experience is?
It is that you are, for that moment, like Faith, the most important person in the eyes of that team at Roy's.
What's stopping you from delivering an exceptional experience to your customers?
In my consulting work, I help employees deliver an exceptional experience through great retail sales training.