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“Let’s Talk Business” with Richard Coles Service Quality

July 25, 2017 Headline News, Training No Comments Email Email

“If we don’t take care of our customers, somebody else will!”

“We must continuously look for ways to improve quality and add value to products our customers purchase.” An effective way to differentiate a company from others is by delivering consistently higher quality than its competitors do. Someone said, “promise only what you can deliver and deliver more than you promise”. If perceived service of an airline exceeds expected service, customers are likely to use the airline again. A manufacturer aims for “zero defects”, we should aim for “zero customer defections”.

You are all involved in the chain of customer service your company offers. No one is exempt. Your “internal customer service “will be experienced by the external customer in one way or another. I’m sure you have some examples of this. In my training, I try to help with awareness of this great differentiator. It is possible to change and grab this wonderful opportunity of Customer Service. It’s a business imperative.

Some Above-and-beyond customer service stories. 

Under the umbrella

Amidst a pretty harsh rainstorm, a cafe employee went outside, removed an umbrella from one of the tables, and walked an elderly man to his car. Being a good citizen is about more than giving people discounts or refunds when they’ve had bad experiences. Sometimes, you need to go even further and extend empathy and a helping hand.

At the time when iPad 2 was launched, everyone was willing to have it. One man also wanted one, so he bought it online. Unfortunately, he sent it back with a Post-It note “Wife said can’t have it”. This guy got lucky. Staff members treating his refund request decided to please him. They refunded the order and sent the iPad back to him with another Post-It saying, “Apple said yes”. Would you dare to say “no” to Apple? I’m sure you’d be happy to get such a package and mention it all over the internet. Exactly as the man did.

Barbara had a 7:55 a.m. flight booked from Salt Spring Island to Vancouver International Airport, but that morning, Ganges Harbour was fogged in and Salt Spring Air had to cancel the flight. The seaplane company offered her either a full refund or they promised to book her on the next ferry to the mainland. Barbara didn’t have time for a ferry because she had a connecting flight at 10 a.m. to Toronto. “They said ‘OK, sit tight and we’ll see what we can do,’” wrote Barbara on tripadvisor.ca.

And that’s when the seaplane company took customer service to new heights. Determined to get her to YVR on time, they found a fog-free spot on the island where they could safely take off. The pilot first flew to Fulford Harbour on the southern end of the island to pick Barbara up before continuing to Vancouver.

She even met the president of Salt Spring Air who arrived to help dock the plane at Fulford.

If you fly Jet Blue, you might just run into the mystical People Officer. One such passenger reports of the People Officer standing up mid-flight and announced that he had free tickets to give away to anywhere that the airline company flew. The man played trivia games, and handed out tickets to anyone who knew the answers. In all, around a dozen free tickets were handed out during the mid-flight games.

The Jet Blue employee then went on to ask if anyone had any suggestions or concerns with Jet Blue, and answered questions about upcoming possible promotions. Think he made any life-long Jet Blue customers from that one plane ride? Sure did.

Inspiring experiences are made up of tangible things like products and prices AND emotional outcomes that move us. And in inspiring customer experience the link between customer success and organization success is incredibly clear.

This mean you must press on, no matter what. With your Customer Service efforts – don’t give up!! Ever! Keep on track. The risks are too great.

  • The easiest and quickest way to make an employee happy: Thank them for a job well done. Does this sound too simplistic? It’s not. Never underestimate the power of a sincere, “Thank you.” However, this is not just a quick drive by, “Thanks for getting that report out” statement. Make sure you’re giving an accolade that lets your employee know you’ve observed, thought about and are taking time out of a hectic day to acknowledge them for a job well done.

Richard Coles, Owner of Coles International Training & Consulting researches, develops and delivers real world learning and organizational solutions to clients’ needs and problems around the world. One area of specialization is Customer Service and leadership initiatives. Richard was in the airline business for over 30 years in prominent roles and worked for the best, KLM, Qantas and Emirates, so understands the travel industry well. To discuss your training needs, challenges, goals and strategy, visit www.colestraining.com and email Richard on: colestraining@gmail.com.

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