Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's my Pleasure...Really it is!

You know the drill you order your Chick-Fil-A sandwich and a friendly employee says, "It's my pleasure."

I go to Publix, where shopping is a pleasure.

I called Comcast to order another cable box and yes you got it..."It's my pleasure."

I remember hearing this for phrase for first time during the first cruise I took.  Everything that came out of my mouth was Royal Caribbean's pleasure.  It was very different...15 years ago.  It was unusual to hear.

Now, the phrase is said so often it feels as if "my pleasure" has lost its good intention by everyone saying it.  It's not only the actual phrase itself but the way employees SAY the phrase.  It has to be genuine and contain the appropriate non-verbal and para-verbal behaviors.

I walked in to Moe's the other day.  It must have been an off-day, because I got the expected mantra of "Welcome to Moe's" mumbled to me by an individual who was talking to someone else and I could have sworn he was rolling his eyes.

Here's a tip....if you have a branding phrase and it is used disingenuously, it is not good for the brand!

How do we put the PLEASURE back into It's my PLEASURE?

1) Make sure you hire people that can deliver on your customer service standards in a genuine way.  In other words hire people that love to serve.
2) Reward for best in class customer service.
3) Hold ALL employees accountable for delivering on "It's my pleasure."
4) Train and retrain employees on world class customer service best practices.
5) Collect customer feedback and do something with the data.
6) Make sure goals are set with all employees that pertain to excellent customer service.
7) Make sure same standards are applied to internal customers, they are just as important.
8) Have a written clear set of customer service standards.  Share these standards with your customers.
9) Manage customer expectations using customer service standards as a guide.
10) Make sure the focus is truly on the customer and not on sales, if customer is the focus then profits will follow.

The above list is easier said than done.  It takes total commitment from everyone especially those at the top and in leadership positions.

It is hard work.  If it were easy then we would all have a customer focused culture like Zappo's and the Ritz.

It's hard...but so worth it!

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