Don’t think you have to create some calculatingly clever, explosively entertaining, and fireworky fantastic customer service ideas.
Simple courtesies go a long way.
Contrast how we were treated on a recent drive to Florida by two different companies. On the drive we encountered a car problem that led to an opportunity for a hotel to go above and beyond. But they didn’t. As we were checking in, we mentioned that we had car trouble and hoped to have it fixed the next morning. Here is their missed opportunity. They could have said:
“Can we help get you a rental car?”
“Can we recommend a garage nearby that we trust?”
“Are you looking for a particular dealership that we can help you find?”
There were any number of things they might have said to show they cared. To us this would have meant a lot. As a result, we were disappointed when we were met with stony indifference.
The next morning the hotel’s breakfast buffet was out of butter. When asked about it, the lady working said, “It didn’t come in with our shipment, but we might have some by tomorrow.” Is there a butter shortage in Cincinnati? Butter is a pretty common item that most people expect to have with their breakfast. An employee could have shown some gumption and bought a pound of butter for that morning’s breakfast buffet. It’s a small thing, but this action would have been shareworthy. Instead we were disappointed.
Then I arrived at The Audi Connection in Cincinnati. I have no affiliation to this company. It was just the closest Audi dealership to where we encountered the problem. I arrived before they were even officially open. They still let me in, and realizing that I was anxious to get back on the road, booked my car in for an immediate diagnostic to source the problem. After they figured out the issue, they informed me that the repair would take a couple of hours. They asked, “Would you like a rental car?” and “Can we suggest a place where you can get breakfast?”
I chose to wait. They offered a Keurig machine for coffee, tea, or whatever else I would like as I spent my time in the waiting area. A short time after I made it to the waiting area, another employee came by to check that I had everything I needed, and that I was connected to their wi-fi. These small actions meant a lot. They probably do these things every day for every customer, but that didn’t matter. I felt well taken care of with these simple courtesies. And that makes their customer service shareworthy.
Are you overlooking the simple things?
PS. In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October so we are doubly blessed to have the opportunity to also celebrate American Thanksgiving with our friends and neighbors again in November. We live here in the States 4-5 months a year and have a good perspective on what makes the US such an incredible place. Many of the smartest, most caring people I know are Americans, and they give of themselves time and time again. In that group I include the Miles clan and their extended families. You, the readers, are beneficiaries of their caring nature and crazy, off-the-charts smarts. I am thankful for all that and so I wish you a sincere “Happy Thanksgiving”.