Customer Service: Magical Moments

leadership development sales soft skills Jun 09, 2009

Great customer service is the key to customer loyal and an ongoing business relationship. Since we’re all customers at some point during our day, we know an appreciate what it is to be on the receiving end of great customer service. Think about the last time you received great customer service. How did it make you feel? Special? Important? Cared for? Did receiving great customer service help you feel relaxed or less stressed?

In an earlier entry, Customer Service & Loyalty: Shep Hyken faculty call, I discussed the importance of customer service and the 5 phases of customer service development. I’d like to share with you one of Shep Hyken’s stories about customer service. The video below is about 6 minutes long and describes a taxi cab ride that Shep took in Dallas. As you listen to the story, imagine that you’re in Mr. Hyken’s shoes and what you are feeling at each point along in the story. Go ahead and watch Shep tell the story a couple of times in you need to. Then, think about what you can do in your business to create similar feelings with your customers.

There are two parts of his story that jump out at me. First is how Shep’s first impression of the cab driver set him in the direction assuming the worst. So we always need to be aware of the first impressions we make. For whatever reason, Shep did give the driver a chance to show him the cab. We don’t always get this chance. What you see right away is that he recognized his mistaken assumption and went for the ride. Not all products lend themselves to such a quick turnaround in opinion, so decide for yourself how important is your initial impression and will people be likely to give you that second chance. It can be quite hard to turn around that first impression.

The second point that jumps out is how a small investment to help make the cab rider, Shep, feel comfortable and at ease paid off in the long run in terms of his tip and repeat business. The cab driver offered more than a ride from point A to point B. He offered a pleasurable experience. Think about that. In your business are you offering a product or service or an experience? If you answered that you’re offering a product or service, think about how you reframe it into offering an experience. It’s the emotional connection to a great experience that will bring customers to you again and again.

Visit Shep’s website The Cult of the Customer for more information about his book and some free some exercises and checklists. You’ll be glad you did.

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