Why a staff member should collect information even if they can’t do anything about it
I closed a bank account today, and the reason I had to close it IS relevant.
I closed it because my bank, Greater Bank does not have Apple Pay as part of their Visa card offering.
I am now wallet free, digital license, apple pay, phone key, electric car driving child of the internet age. I don’t want to carry one single card, so I decided to ditch this last dinosaur by opening an account with another bank.
The staff member who closed my account could not have been more helpful. But she didn’t ask me why I was closing my account.
Now sure she couldn’t do anything about it but she could’ve done two things. Firstly, she could have asked me why I was closing my account, and second, she could offer to leave the account with a zero balance and no fees until such time as the function I was seeking would be available (which it will eventually).
Now another bank has got my transactions, and our banking does tend to follow our transactions. So they’ll probably end up getting the whole of my company’s banking.
Collect information from customers, even if you can’t do anything about it.
I didn’t expect streamers like the ones thrown as people left on ships after World War II, but I was expecting a little more acknowledgement.
The crew loved the place and the breakfast, although the coffee was a little ordinary. But here’s the problem.
The café is relatively new. If you get the opportunity to get potentially 12 ravenous guests come to your cafe every week, you might make a little special effort.
Here are some simple steps the café owner could have taken to grab the market.
Acknowledge the entrance.
Make a big deal about a new group of people coming into the cafe for the first time. Make them feel welcome and appreciated.
Check on the table
Get someone to come to the table regularly to make sure that everything is okay. But get that person to come and have a real and engaging conversation. Not just a throwaway line like “everything ok?”
Clear the table
The group ordered a round of coffees before breakfast. Come and clear the table so they have a clean environment upon which to enjoy their breakfast.
Make more money
Nowadays, café owners have a portable point of sale machine. Get someone to walk to the table after breakfast and ask if anyone would like an extra coffee. Although the café is walk-up service they would sell coffees as they clear the breakfast plates. It’s literally money being left on the table because most people will say:
”Oh, why not”.
You may even sell a small sweet desert.
Make it free.
If you don’t want to pester people with an upsell, consider giving away some free coffees especially for the first visit. Imagine if the owner walked up to the table and said:
“thanks very much for coming to the cafe, let me get a free coffee for anyone who is interested.”
I can’t imagine any situation in which that would be a bad idea. At worst, it might cost $.40 a coffee but it’s almost guarantees return purchases.
Business acumen and customer service
It’s not rocket science. The problem is that the owner is so obsessed with the food and its presentation that he’s lost sight of the human touch.
Simple business acumen can get some of that money that is being left on the table, and the customers will be more than happy to give it to you.
Indeed, they will thank you for taking the money.
Business smart and customer service I’m not incompatible, in fact they feed each other.
I often get asked in media interviews about the effects of artificial intelligence on customer service. So many people bemoan the seemingly soul-less interaction we have with chat bots online. But we we prefer them. And so do our customers.
Customers prefer knowledge 87% over presentation 13%
Customers prefer knowledge 59% over warm customer service 41%
Customer prefer knowledge 59% to cleanliness 41%
Ai in telecommunications
I recently heard a keynote by the head of artificial intelligence at Optus telecommunications at the Google Cloud summit in Sydney. The Optus executive said that customer net promoter scores (NPS) were higher when they interacted with artificial intelligence then when they interacted with humans.
They also stated that artificial intelligence bots can now handle up to 75% of all enquiries.
This tells me it’s only getting better. We want knowledge above all else and artificial intelligence is the best tool to give us that. And it can give us the knowledge we need instantly.
Now that the technology is getting to the point where it is useful, we will NOT look back fondly on the days we had to wait 20 minutes or 2 hours on the phone to speak to a representative about a mobile phone issue. Will be able to login and get it dealt with within 10 seconds or a minute.
I like shopping instantly online, rather than waiting for someone. I like not having to wait for someone to come fill my car up for me. I like not having to wait for a checkin persona at the airport.
Automated customer service improves service, not diminish it.
I don’t care that I’m dealing with the machine. I just want my question answered and I don’t want to wait.
Are you meeting this challenge with your customers or still reminiscing about the good old days – which were not so good.
(This begs the question about the role of people, but that’s a whole other topic)
September 09, 2019 /
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The ultimate test of good service is to sell something.
My friend Kon goes into a shoe store to ask for some specific shoes only to find they are out of stock.
They frustrate him so he goes to the company’s other store 20 minutes away. He then tries another store of the same retailer. Still no luck. In an effort to ‘serve’ the customer, the store suggests he goes online – thus losing control of the sale.
To make matters worse, Kon hates buying shoes and clothing online. They tried to help him but didn’t.
The purpose of serving customers is not to be their friend. The purpose of serving customers is not to be ‘nice’ The purpose of serving customers is to sell…. and The purpose of the customer’s visit is to buy.
Don’t be confused, and don’t be scared to make this clear to staff.
(Cover image https://t.co/oWoPaqi1MY?amp=1)
August 30, 2019 /
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