Customer Service is about creating positive memories for your customers. But these memorable events typically are not created during "business as usual."
They happen when there is a breakdown in the normal process. They happen when something is standing in the way of completing the service transaction.
The memory is created when the customer service person does something to overcome, or get past the breakdown to complete the transaction, as the customer would want it.
Heroic actions are positive things that neither the business owner, employer or customer would expect the employee to do.
Here's an example:
Friday evening, my wife and I had dinner at a local Irish Pub. She ordered a Caesar Salad. After a moment, the server returned to tell my wife that they were out of Caesar dressing, and suggested
a garden salad instead.
The server missed an opportunity to be a hero.
50 yards away from the Irish Pub is a large supermarket that stocks several brands of Caesar Salad dressings. They also stock all the ingredients to make it from scratch. It was a quiet night at the Pub, and there were plenty of staff available to take 10 minutes out, to go and purchase the dressing.
Had someone done so, my wife would have enjoyed her Caesar Salad. And more importantly, our customer experience would have been dramatically different. And so would our loyalty to the Pub.
But the server wasn't thinking outside the scope of the routine transaction. And my wife and I were left with a routine experience.
Great customer experience moments often occur during a breakdown in the transaction, or when something goes wrong. But only if the person delivering the service takes the initiative to go beyond the routine; to go outside the scope of the standard transaction.
4 Steps to create a Customer Service Hero Culture:
- Think about the breaks from the routine in your business, that create opportunities for your employees to become heroes to your customers.
- Create a plan for what to do, for each of these breakdowns.
- Communication the plan to the employees.
- Then ask the employees to think of other breakdowns that occur. Chances are, they'll be able to think of more than you did. And doing so will put them in a hero mindset, and cultivate a Customer Service Hero Culture.
How would your employees have handled that Caesar Salad episode? Would they have gone out to buy the dressing?