Great customer service – It’s not that hard is it?

Every single day someone gives me an appalling customer service experience.  Take your pick from HSBC not calling me back, laissez-faire waiters, queuing for hours in Southern Electrics multiple level phone holding pattern, the general shoddiness of the London Underground ‘service’, the man from SKY drilling into the neighbours lounge instead of outside, the receptionist at the Doctors with a ferocious face that could make children cry, miserable indifference from people working in a customer facing role, Elephant family never called me back and don’t even get me started on the Ramada Jarvis in Leeds – that deserves a whole blog to itself.

So when I get brilliant customer service, not just once but consistently I have to share it because it is a precious gem. A gift. A miracle.

My local coffee shop is wonderful. Let me tell you why.

  1. Their coffee is delicious – they have a great product
  2. Everyone that works there smiles and makes you feel welcome
  3. Everyone engages you in conversation (good conversation, not the forced conversation that you get at the checkout in Sainsburys because the cashier has attended Sainsburys ‘having small talk with customers’ training day – Sainsburys I like what you are trying to do but you haven’t cracked it yet)
  4. Everyone remembers you and refers back to previous conversations
  5. They do this consistently. Every day.
  6. They do this with all their customers
  7. They actually seem to be enjoying themselves

They also go out of their way for their customers; last week I went to get coffee and on my way I made a quick phone call as I walked down the street. The call lasted longer than I anticipated and I ended up pacing up and down in front of the shop for a few minutes while I chatted. After a couple of minutes one of the staff appeared in the doorway of the shop with a soya latte (they knew my coffee) and then wouldn’t let me pay for it. That was a priceless gesture.

Sometimes they give me a free coffee, and sometimes a complimentary bun if I’m looking particularly hungry. Once they ran out of soya milk so went to get some especially for me.

Going to Reason to Eat is a pleasure. It makes my day. I get great coffee, a meaningful conversation and I feel part of a local community. I always leave there smiling.

Great customer service – It’s not that hard is it?

  1. Recruit the right people for customer facing roles – people who like people
  2. Pay them well – they are representing the company. They are important.
  3. Give them the tools and training they need to do the best job they can
  4. Listen to them – they are talking to your customers every day

I now recommend Reason to Eat to everyone that I know – and also people I don’t know because it’s a joy to be their customer.

Do you think your customers and donors feel that it’s a joy to work with you and your organisation? If the answers no – then please put it right soon.

If you are interested in being the best you can at your job or in your industry you might be interested in reading

The Fred Factor



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