“Just having satisfied customers is just not good enough anymore”. Spoken like a true hospitality guru. Ken Blanchard’s book Raving Fans have some excellent training tips and advice for those of us who are serious about service.
I have to admit we all get complacent. We all become disappointed with the way humans act and behave toward us as service professionals. When things are not quite as they should be through no fault of the agent/clerk at the receiving end of the infraction. When we get there we need to dig deep for rejuvenation! We should look for it in the most unlikely places. I had that experience today and I have to say I have become a “Raving Fan” of Elan. It is a furrier company located in the city of Chicago. Here is how the day started, I spent 4 hours calling places to take my fur coat to have it stored, glazed and repaired.
I finally ended up contacting Elan furs and the lovely Anna answered the phone. I asked about the specific service I was looking for, and also pricing then she told me and then I asked about location. Before I could shriek at how far it was she said: “WE CAN PICK IT UP”. Somehow she was able to discern in my voice that I was disappointed with the location. She exceeded my expectation. I was completely not expecting that. She realized there was a need and anticipated it! It was not about price, it was about gaining a loyal customer! It was about knowing that I will tell other people about such a painless positive experience, about making sure I was happy. I have to say I was not just satisfied, I was grateful. Not only did they come to pick up the coat but they came in the time frame that they quoted me. I did not have to stay home the whole day waiting.
Discernment. As hospitality professionals, a huge part of our jobs is in the powers and abilities of discernment. To be able to grasp when things are going wrong and when we can improve on them. This builds companies up and tears them down. If you are in the service industry, it is your duty to know what the guest needs are even before they do.