“It was the best of Times and the Worst of Times” – Charles Dickens
I wrote a few months ago that what we need most is empathy. With the ongoing pandemic, that’s even more true now. Businesses and individuals all over the world continue to be impacted. Understanding how your customers and clients feel allows you to make changes to your customer service to meet and exceed the level of service that they are expecting.
This Christmas, my wife decided to go all out and really make this year special. She decorated the tree to make it look department store ready! She took pride and care to ensure each package was carefully wrapped and with beautiful ribbons. Needless to say, the tree looked amazing and the presents to the kids were carefully wrapped and beautifully arranged. It looked like an something from a Martha Stewart show. My kids were very impressed with this display and gave my wife many compliments on the tree and the presents! After a half hour my son pulled me aside in and asked the question, “OK Pops, what’s in the boxes?”
All the conditions were right for a great trip and some great golf. I had been practicing exclusively on my home course, which was not hard in terms of layout. The greens at my course were very flat and there were no blind shots! I had boosted my confidence and was ready for the challenges of the California West Coast course. How hard could they be? I had my swing, I had my putting stroke, and I had my confidence.
When my son was young, I was always amazed at the questions his mind developed. It usually started with “Is it possible…” or “What if…” Things such as, “Is it possible for a man to fly?” and “What if cows could suddenly give chocolate milk?” I would take the question, try to reason with it and figure out a logical conclusion as to what exactly could happen. One day as we were getting an oil change for my car, my son asked, “What if you never changed the oil or put any oil into a car what would happen?” It was an easy answer; the car would cease to run. I explained to him that if you fail to change the oil, the oil becomes dirty and fails to lubricate the engine. Once that happens the car engine stops working and the car is no longer able to function.
One of the great joys I get from my job is the ability to walk into a room full of participants who have grown up with internet and dazzle and yes, amaze them with tales of a time when hotels did not have computers. The looks on the faces of the participants are priceless as they try to imagine how they would check someone in, process a credit card, etc. The best part is when they declared it can’t happen. But happen it did.
Creating an excellent customer service experience starts with providing better customer service training. Customer service skills are about more than good manners! In fact, it takes daily education and reinforcement of good customer service skills to improve and then create lasting changes in behavior.