Have You Created a Great Service Exit?

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The opening keynote was preceded by the safety briefing for the large banquet hall attendees.  It was the usual “in case of fire” cautions and instructions.  It dramatically and clearly called attention to the exit signs over the doors completely invisible in an otherwise “take it for granted” perspective. The flight attendant on the airline does the same “notice the exits” speech before every flight. Every movie at the theatre asks the audience to “please find the nearest exit in case of an emergency” before the main feature begins.
Great Service Has Great Exits
We all enjoy the convenience as well as speed of self-service and automation…when it works. But, if we are caught inside with a less than satisfactory experience, we need a great exit.  Great exits include cross-trained wait staff able to swing into action when your server seems to have disappeared.  It includes supervisors and managers who can take […] Continue…

Planning for the Dark Side of Service

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A fun activity for Chip’s grandchildren when they visit his North Georgia weekend home is panning for gold.  The sand comes from a sandy river bank near a sight that was a part of the gold rush in the early 1800’s.
Panning for gold is not easy; it works like this.  You first put a double hand full of sand in a gold pan and dip it in the water filling it half full of water.  Next, you gently move the pan back and forth as you let small amounts of yellow sand wash over the side of the pan.
The objective is to let the black sand sink to the bottom of the gold pan.  But, this is the point where panning for gold gets serious.  Impatience or strong-arming the way the pan is shaken means the black sand escapes over the side with the yellow sand.  Once black sand is the only sand left in the pan, you are rewarded with flecks of gold.  Gold resides among the black sand.
Innovative customer service is like panning for gold among the sand.  But, like service, sand can also […] Continue…

Do you regularly view the customer journey from their point of view?

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A man lived right by the railroad track.  For years, the train roared by his bedroom window at two-o’clock every morning.  He grew so accustomed to it that it never disturbed his sleep.  One night no train came through.  The usual train was taken out of circulation for maintenance and a substitute was unavailable.  At precisely 2 AM, the man lunged from a deep sleep and exclaimed, “What was that?!”
Customer service can be a lot like the man in the house beside the track.  We take it completely for granted.  We stop seeing the details of our customer’s experience; we cease standing in our customer’s shoes. Processes become a lot like wallpaper to a resident and we become afflicted with a type of blindness that keeps us from appreciating our customer’s world.  That is until something jolts us into suddenly noticing the unnoticeable.  An important customer leaves angry; a key account is lost to the competition, or a sneering review[…] Continue…

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