The Customer Service Bomb You May Not Even Know About

 In Managing Your Business, professional development

In a Runner-friendly town…

I stopped mid-run at the community rec center for hydration and a quick bathroom break. I’ve stopped at my share of Casey’s, Burgee’s Coffees, neighbors, gas stations, even churches (I was pregnant -what can I say!) during the middle of a run both with and without money. Any more I always carry some change for the emergency Gu, bar or drink. Things aren’t quite as friendly as they used to be and even the Casey’s has to account for the inventory of cups.

The other day running in one of the most friendly endurance athlete locations in the world I stopped at the rec center. A young man asked if he could help me. He was pleasant enough.

“First time in the door, is there a bathroom and water fountain or place to get a gatorade close by?”

Pleasant lost, he pointed – not irritated but certainly not warm, friendly and welcoming as if I might be the next patron at the rec center,

“Just around the corner.” His instruction was ballpark, not stellar. I found my way after asking a young mom walking the same away around the building.

This young man didn’t pick up on the “First time in the door…” He wasn’t helpful or hopeful. He didn’t seem concerned at all about the first impression or warmth of the welcome I got.

If you’re focused on processes and procedures when you’re doing your job, or when you’re training your staff members, you may miss the  #1 thing that makes or breaks a customer experience. Its what you give them before you’ve got them. How do you make them feel?

While someone could easily say, it’s just a runner stopping for a bathroom and a drink… I never said that. I just asked where it was FIRST…. he didn’t know I wasn’t coming back to register for personal training, swimming lessons, apply for HIS job… talk to his boss about customer service training for staff members!

And you or I don’t either. We can’t judge based on a cover. Cliche as that is, we do it all the time. The clients that often spend the most money try to save the most money and they don’t dress like they have money. You won’t recognize them. The people who drive the best cars and have the biggest houses, share their biggest experiences on Facebook…are often the closest to bankruptcy. When you’re there you don’t need someone else to tell you you’ve arrived. You don’t need the outward approval.

Be prepared for your next BEST client to show up in cognito. And give everyone the excellence in customer service as if your business depends on it.

It does.

~Debra