April 17, 2019 /
Comments Off on Unsure how I feel about this Chinese restaurant video

Unsure how I feel about this Chinese restaurant video

Back-of-house Staff can usually hide their habits.

(This 7 second video is to be seen to be believed – for its ordinariness)

To increase transparency, some restaurants put the kitchen staff out in the open. The kitchen is out with the diners. The motivation is obvious – to show they have nothing to hide.

There’s something reassuring to watch your food being  cooked nearby.

This Chinese restaurant in Shanghai (and many others) have taken it a step further by playing live video of the kitchen on screens out the front of the restaurant.

It gives reassurance and the staff know they are always on show. It also makes the back-of-house staff feel important to the marketing effort.

But I can’t help but think it’s creepy. Yes, it’s coming here I’m sure. I’m just not sure we need to go that far by showing them off like zoo animals.

April 16, 2019 /
Comments Off on Why technology makes Service even more important

Why technology makes Service even more important

The future has arrived – in China.

I’m fortunate enough to travel to my Shanghai Mystery Shopping office every 3-4 months.

Since my last trip I noticed that cash just does not exist.

Yes, cash does not exist.

We are starting to feel this in the West thanks to Apple Pay and Google Pay, but it’s gone further.

Many of the staff in my office have not touched money in a year. They use either WeChat (like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger) or AliPay (like PayPal) for all transactions. 

It’s seamless and instant. Consider it Apple Pay or Google Pay on steroids. It’s used for purchases as easily as it’s used to transfer money to a friend.

What does it mean?

When you use cash, you “feel” the purchase and prices are promoted front and centre.  When the purchase is a cold and unemotional beep, the price diminishes in importance.

The coffee shop under our office illustrated the point perfectly.

It looked like a standard trendy Melbourne coffee complete with polished floors and exposed roofing and a sign behind the counter detailing the menu. Although the prices were on display, they were not a big deal.

Time after time customers would enter, order, and then just beep their phone. Like all of us, they want:

Taste, Service and Reliability

The location isn’t even important because they have a constant stream of Deliveroo’s and Uber eats equivalents.

And so two large forces come together.

  1. the move away from price to quality (very pronounced in China)
  2. the removal of cash resistance through technology.

This returns retailers full circle towards service, and the same applies to the West.

No matter what challenges are thrown at customer service through price, technology or culture (more of that later), service remains the cornerstone of success. And the measurement of service remains as important as ever.

#mysteryshopping #customerservice #cx

July 18, 2017 /
Comments Off on How customer service accidentally gets low priority

How customer service accidentally gets low priority

Everyone goes on about giving “great service”. But it still doesn’t have the profile of other job roles, especially at executive level.

Look at these job roles on Linkedin.

No mention of Customer Service. Scroll further.

Nope — further?

Nope — surely it’s in alphabetical order. Must be on the next screen right?

Again No.

Linkedin and so many other companies just don’t look at Customer Service or Customer Experience as a profession. Legal is, Arts and Design is, even Support is a role. But Customers? No room for them or the role.

Oh yeh sure, everyone serves the customer or someone who does right? Sure, but that’s a cop out which minimises the role by implying that “Oh yeh, everyone does a that (read — a bit of that)”. IF everyone does it, no one is responsible.

If you want staff to take service seriously, then make is a serious cross divisional role.