What´s the difference between ordinary customer service and legendary customer service?
Finishing up a two-day CRM meeting in Atlanta, I was driving three of my peers back to the airport and the discussion turned to whether or not the hotel front desk staff remembered the names of those of us who stay there several times a month. One person, a frequent guest at the hotel, mentioned how nice it was when, after stepping off a five-hour flight, the desk clerk remembered her name. She said it was disappointing when a clerk would ask if this was her first time staying at the hotel. Remembering your frequent customers´ names may sound like a tiny thing to you, but I believe you can escalate the customer service experience of your customers by implementing one new policy, creating a way to remember those names, then providing your employees with training. Finally, hold them accountable for their actions.
Your customers will be pleasantly surprised and the real benefit to you will be customers who become more loyal to you, then brag about their experiences to others who might become your customers.
Create a policy (and sell all employees on why it´s important) that says "frequent customers will be greeted by name whenever possible. Second, design a simple process that enables your employees to quickly determine whether or not someone is a frequent customer. Next, provide them with training on how to remember people´s names and use the process. There are many techniques, most of which can be obtained free from the Internet. If you´re based in even a small city, there´s probably an army of training consultants who´d love to teach your employees those techniques. Then hold them accountable by observing their behavior and following up later with customers.
Bottom line: Brainstorm with your employees how you can do a better job of remembering customers´ names. It makes the customer service experience more enjoyable which contributes to greater loyalty to you. The greater the loyalty, the more money they spend and the more likely they are to tell others about you.
"Remember that to him or her, a person´s name is the sweetest most important sound in any language."
PS: I know you have told your staff and your children that one person CAN make a difference. Well, here’s your chance to make a difference in the fight against cancer. I am $55 from reaching my goal of raising $1000 for my Relay For Life team. Funds benefit the cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient service programs of the American Cancer Society. if eleven of you gave $5 each, I will reach my goal. (I’ll kick in another $5 to exceed it.)
A big tip o’ the cowboy hat to Matthew for chipping in. Thanks!