Sunday, March 10, 2013

Empower your employees to deliver exceptional customer service

I was just in San Francisco for the National Speakers Association How & Now Weekend.  Our conference was at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront.  It was one of the best hotel experiences I've had and by sharing this with you, I ask you to think about whether or not you empower your employees to deliver exceptional customer service.

My flight from New York landed about 3:30 pm, so I was checking in much later than most of my fellow NSAers.  When I saw how lovely the view was, I asked the young woman at the front desk if she had a room with a view.  She said, "Of course. That will be $20 more per night."  Still functioning on my penny-pinching ways begun in 2008, I said, "Oh, that's OK.  I don't spend much time in my room during the day."  You guessed it!  Walked into my room and looked out at a beautiful view.  Think about it.  Most people had checked in for the weekend.  She could see that room would be empty.  Why not give it to me?  Why worry about $40?  And the next day, still tired from two cross-country flights, I returned to that room to relax four times! 

When I was about to leave on Sunday, I headed out to the entrance to check on the shuttle.  I was told it would be there in six minutes.  It was windy, so I told the attendant I would be inside.  A few minutes later the shuttle pulled up, dropped off several people and...zoomed off!  I was half way to the door as it disappeared.  As you can imagine, I wasn't happy.  The doorman asked me to wait and went inside.  I followed him and the young woman he spoke to said, "I'm so sorry this happened.  We'd like to pay for your taxi to the airport."  She handed me her card. Lauri Donnelly is the Restaurant Supervisor.  I assume she was the acting manager at the time.  But how often do we see that entities, departments, locations, people function separately and seem unable to solve a customer complaint?  Yet studies show if the customer feels you are responsive to a problem, they will do business with you again in 82% to 95% of the cases.

What about your company or organization?  Everyone needs to be empowered to do what it takes to make customers very, very happy.  To deliver exceptional customer service.  Do that and they will do business with you again and again!