Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Mandatory Behavior?

March 29, 2011

This weekend I was at a retail store in Washington, D.C., and noticed an open door to a stock room.  There, inside the room, painted in large red letters on the wall, was the phrase FIVE BASIC DEMANDS, followed by a list of things like “maintain eye contact” and “smile”.

It probably comes as no surprise to you that the store was unkempt, the staff aloof, and the lines were moving at a snail’s pace.  How ironic that the employees were not only ignoring the company’s “basic demands”, but essentially going out of their way to create a miserable shopping experience.

The next time you are overcome with the urge to put together a list of behaviors you demand of your staff, why don’t you instead go out of your way to hire the right type of people, who would behave that way inherently, without your request?  If you don’t, your words probably won’t be worth the wall that they’re written on.


The Opinion of a Perfect Stranger

July 27, 2010

I find it surprising (and funny), in this day and age, (when we never leave our houses unlocked, and wouldn’t dare speak to someone at the gas station), how willing we are to trust the opinions of a perfect stranger.  These days it’s commonplace to seek out the feedback of the anonymous masses before making purchasing decisions (I did so before booking a hotel this week).

Sure, we like selecting quality products or services, but even more than that, we hate making the wrong choice.  So we read reviews, pay attention to the number of stars, and are thankful that someone was motivated enough to speak up (under an alias, of course).

Websites like Amazon, Trip Advisor, and Angie’s List put so much emphasis on the input of strangers that their rating systems can literally make or break a product.  The power of a 5 star or 1 star review, articulately crafted by someone you’ll never meet, is mind boggling.

This leads me to two questions:  How would you rate if your customers began ranking you personally online?  How far away are we from this scenario becoming reality?  By the way, the domain name is available…help yourself.

Free Agency

July 2, 2010

The NBA Free Agency period is in full swing. All eyes are on Lebron James, who is being courted by Miami, New York, and Chicago (among others). There is still a possibility that Lebron could stay in Cleveland, a smaller market, but for all intents and purposes, his hometown.

The debate on where he will go, and the decision he is faced with have left me to wonder:

  • Why does he want to leave?
  • What would make him stay?
  • Is his departure inevitable?
  • What could Cleveland have done to keep him from getting to this point in the first place?

    Is it all about money and rings? Maybe, but if so, Cleveland knows this as well as anyone and could have gotten creative to figure out how to keep this generation’s greatest player on the roster.

    Your customers are all free agents. Are you doing everything you can to keep them on your team?  Here’s a hint:  If you’re already at the free agency stage, it’s probably too late.

    They’re Completely Missing the Point

    June 8, 2010

    I am disappointed (and baffled) by the unbelievably bad customer service I’ve been receiving lately.  What is amazing to me, in this economy, is that customer service is actually getting worse, instead of better.

    Wait times on hold are longer.  Tables at restaurants are cleaned less often.  Employees are rude and indifferent.

    The ironic thing is that this is the time when they should get better.  This is the time when customers are scarce, so they should do everything they can to overwhelm them.  This is the time when employees are abundant, so they should take every opportunity to “topgrade” their staff positions.  This is the time when their competition is going out of business, so they should build programs to grab customers who are searching for new companies to meet their needs.

    Instead, they’re cutting corners, they’re slimming down their workforces, their cheapening their offerings.  What a shame.  They have the opportunity of a lifetime, and they’re completely missing the point.

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