The Customer Experience: How To Wow Your Customers (PART 6)
TRANSCRIPT: Number two on this list of easy simple things to do to create a great customer experience is always expect them, always expect customers. See, a customer visit is not an inconvenience and it should never be a surprise. Notice them immediately and acknowledge them as soon as you notice them. You work at a hotel, you are a clerk, you are on the phone, a customer walks up to your desk, I guess they are about to check-in. Don’t keep talking on the phone, acknowledge the customer. If you can’t get off the phone, at least let them know, “I’m on call.”
Whatever you need to do, you want to acknowledge the customer. I don’t understand this look that I get sometimes when I go into places that should be expecting customers. Why would you expect the customers? Without customers we don’t need you, so expect them and assume that they are where they are supposed to be.
I’ll give you an example, I gave blood last month, not looking for accolades, gave blood last month and I made an appointment for that. I walked in, about five minutes before my appointment, and the clerk at the desk was not there, but someone from the back ran out and she is one of the technicians who takes blood. She asked me in an accusatory tone, “Do you have an appointment?” As if there’s these rogue people running around the blood donation, blood banks and trying to give blood without an appointment, like that would be terrible.
I’m truly a volunteer, I’m truly giving them something for free, and she treated me like I was some sort of criminal trying to give them blood without an appointment. You need to expect people, and when possible greet them by name. Think about this. I had an appointment, I was five minutes early for an appointment, she could have looked at the appointment board and acted as if she expected me and even said something like this, “Hey, are you Mr. Stauning?” I say, “Yes.” She says, “Great. We’ve been expecting you.” That would have been different, that would have been a better experience.
See, if can, greet people by name because people assume you are more competent if you know their name. Certainly, if someone has made an appointment with you and they are showing up around the appointment time, there is no harm and foul in saying, “Are you Mr. Stauning?” “Are you Steve?” “Are you Bob?” whatever, because what if they’re not. Okay, I took a shot. More often than not you are going to be right, and when you are right you are going to make people feel good.
That’s how my dentist office works. They don’t do this, but it’s the only dentist picture I had. From my very first visit, we moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2010. I had my first visit to our dentist in Coeur d’Alene later that year. For my very first visit they greeted me by name. Yes, in the very first visit, as soon as I walked through the door. I walked through the door,and about 15, 20 feet away is the reception desk. The receptionist looked up and she said, “You must be Steve.” Wow.
She then said, she named my three sons because they had already gone to the dentist and she said, “Oh, we just love Carson, Conner and Gunnar.” Wow. She couldn’t pick us out in a crowd of two. You wouldn’t know us if she ran into us in the grocery store. I get that, but that didn’t matter. I assume that they were more competent because she knew my name, because she knew the name of my sons, but all of that was on front of her on her computer screen.
How did she know it was me that came in? She didn’t, but I had a 10 o’clock appointment, it was about ten minutes to ten, I walk in the door, I’m not dressed as a UPS driver, I’m not carrying any packages. She put two and two together and said, “That must be Steve.” She said, “You must be Steve?” She greeted me by my name. It makes you seem more competent when you can do that.
Now my old doctor’s office never did that. We’ve actually switched doctors since we moved here because my old doctor’s office when you went in and you walked up to the counter, they truly treated you like you were some sort of criminal, like, “What are you doing here?” “Why do you need to see the doctor?” They treated you like you are a hypochondriac. My god, the hypochondriacs are best patients, the doctors make more money. You should be expecting your customers, you should greet them by name when you can. In a service environment, customers will trust you more if you already know them and their issues. They shouldn’t have to repeat this.
Is this how your team works? Do you expect them? Think about a service drive at a car dealership. When you can, do you greet them by name? Let me give you my last dealership visit. Let me tell you exactly what it was like as a customer getting my vehicle serviced. I have a Ford F-150 and it needed service, so I made an appointment, and I made the appointment online, I filled out all the information in their online form, I told them everything that I needed done. I actually selected the service because it was a transmission service that on this F-150 couldn’t be done by my normal mechanic, so I had to go the Ford dealer, and I showed up on time.
The service advisor never greeted me. I had to walk up to see him, but he also looked at me like I had three heads, and he kept accusing me of not making an appointment because he couldn’t find it in his system. I got a confirmation email on the appointment. I knew that I’d made the appointment. I knew what I had told them because my confirmation email had all of my explanations, but instead of blaming it on his system, he blamed it on me, “Sometimes people don’t hit the Submit button, sometimes bah, bah, bah, they don’t get the …” He blamed it on me.
Then he made me, once he realized, once he found my appointment, he still made me repeat everything as if it wasn’t written right in front of him. He said, “Can you tell me what the issue is today?” Instead of saying something like, “Oh, it looks like you are here for transmission service. Is there anything else, any other issues you’ve been having with your vehicle?” I lost all confidence in them.
Do you think when he came back after my transmission service and tried to upsell me on other services that I bought anything? Heck, no. I got out of there as quickly as I could because these people seem incompetent because he didn’t know my name and he didn’t have my appointment. This is an issue. You’ve got to expect them, and especially if you know their name in advance you’ve got to use it.