Monday, June 7, 2010

Hard Wired for Exceptional Customer Service

I have been traveling on business more than I usually do this year.  I have really been exposed to the best and the worst of customer service.  I find it fascinating how some companies ALWAYS get it right and some companies ALWAYS get it wrong.

I went to my client's preferred car rental company instead of where I am a "preferred member."  I was on the bus from the airport on my way to the offsite car rental facility.  The bus drive was happy, greeting everyone, almost whistling while he worked.  I thought, "That is refreshing."  The next week, I come back, he greets me, "Hi, Ms. Martin, how was your flight from Atlanta?"  Wow, he saw me one time.  I said, "How did you know that?"  He just smiled and said, "It's my job."  
 I wish more employees felt that knowing the customer, "was just their job."

Contrast the experience below to the one above:

I went to my gate to board my plane, the airport is jammed packed at 6AM.  The agents begin boarding and are calling rows and zones.  I pass by 2 gate agents, 3 flight attendants, 1 captain and no one even says good morning.  I know it is impossible for them to know my name, but is "good morning" too much to ask?

When I returned my car back to the rental car facility, I was greeted by yet, another eager, friendly employee just waiting to check me in.  I couldn't help myself to ask this employee about why everyone is so friendly around here.  He just said, "I guess we are all just WIRED that way."

How interesting is that?  I think there is a lot of truth in his revelation.  People can be hard wired for customer service.  So, how do the companies that always get customer service right, find people that are hard wired?

I know there is a lot of upfront work that has to happen to make sure we hire for that "hard wiredness" but how to you keep those types engaged and more importantly keep them on board?

What is your experience?  Please leave a comment or an example of a company that understands the concept of Hired Wired for Customer Service.
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