Doing What’s Unexpected

“Customer service isn’t about telling people how awesome you are, it’s about creating stories that do the talking for you.”


–          Peter Shankman


I went to the bank the other day. I was greeted by name as I stepped through the door.  (How do people have such good memories)?


Same thing at the dry cleaners.  They saw me get out of the car and had my shirts ready to go before I got to their entrance.


I read about  a favorite pizza place of mine back in New York, that had a long time customer who had moved to Texas.  Several years later, the man was terminally ill. He told his wife that having John’s pizza again, was at the top of his bucket list. His wife called and a pizza was delivered to his hospital room, free of charge.


A friend of mine tells a story about being hours late for check in at a favorite hotel because she was caught in tremendous rains en route to her destination.  When she pulled up, the manager himself ran out with an umbrella and told her how worried he had been about her.  At checkout, he gifted her with a cup and saucer she had admired from their breakfast service.


Most times, the public face of your company doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to those on the front line.  It belongs to your employees, primarily your customer support team. In a very real sense, they’re the ones who speak to you, to your values, and what you stand for.  How can you make sure they reflect it?  Inspire them! Trust them!  Empower them! Lead by example.


The majority of businesses strive to do their best to be the best.  I would ask, ‘I know how good you are, so how can you be better’?


Maybe we don’t have the financial reserves of a Ritz Carlton, who I’m told gives their employees discretionary reserves of $2000 each to create memorable customer experiences for the guests; but there’s always a creative way to provide experiences that will get your customers talking and making your employees happy at the same time.


It’s not about doing what’s expected.  Everyone takes that for granted.  It’s about doing more of what’s unexpected that gets word of mouth and keeps your customers coming back.

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