During a recent meeting with a client we found ourselves exchanging customer service stories. Client opinion on exceptional service is valuable knowledge. I am always surprised by the simple things that make a lasting impression. Ultimately, those simple things can encourage retention of a special supplier or a valued customer.
This is a true story, as told by my client.
The story is about Joseph, a taxi driver. Like many business people, my client travels frequently to airports. One afternoon she just happened to hail a taxi rather than call for her car service. Joseph happened to be the taxi driver on this particular day. Upon stopping, he promptly jumped out of his taxi and opened the car door and welcomed my client with a warm and friendly greeting. Once she was settled in the cab Joseph asked what kind of music she liked. Jazz. Straightaway, he popped a jazz CD into the player. In an otherwise stressful day, Joseph made my client feel relaxed. As they approached the airport, she asked for his card. The next time she needed a ride she called Joseph. He asked what kind of beverage was her preference. Coffee. When Joseph arrived a hot cup of coffee and a warm coissant were waiting for her in the taxi. To this day Joseph always provides her with a coffee, a pastry, jazz music, and easy conversation with every ride. A long-term business relationship was built.
Joseph has over 400 clients. He gives each of his clients customized and personable service. He is always on time, always upbeat, and always promises a positive experience.
It’s simple really. Know your client. Deliver.
I shared my own story with my client about a recent stay in a hotel. The bellman helped me get settled into my room by carefully introducing me to all of the special features and amenities. That’s the usual service you expect from a bellman, but it was his exit line that made an impression and made my day. He said, “If you need anything at all please ask for me, My name is Roman. I can promise solutions in minutes, but miracles take three hours.” He flashed a broad smile and bowed ever so slightly as he gently backed away on his way out the door.
It’s simple really. Be attentive. Find a way to make the customer’s day.
I am sure you have many stories of your own. These would be helpful to share with your own clients or suppliers, just to demonstrate that it does not take monumental steps to capture someone’s attention and to offer exceptional service. It can be those small acts or consideration and care. Of course I would love to know about your stories too.
It’s simple really.
- Start with a smile
- Provide consistent quality
- Listen and actively respond
- Be accountable when things go wrong
- Act with sense of urgency to make things right