The Sunday Post #84
Good customer service is not rocket science. It’s really not. Good customer service actually comes quite naturally to most people, unless you are a dick.
How I do it
One thing that I am exceptionally good at is customer service. What? You don’t believe me? Just ask and I will tell you that I am. Really. It’s a skill that I developed by working in restaurant kitchens if you can believe it. I have worked for some truly brilliant general managers when it came to service, and almost everything I know or do can be traced back to them and this simple sentence.
If you’re not serving the customer, you’d better be serving someone who is.
Good old Karl and his German, supermarket magnet ways. That is one of the most brilliant things I have ever learned.
What that means is that, while you may not be serving the actual customer that is giving the company money to keep doing business, you are helping the person that is helping the customer, which in turns makes that person your customer. In the restaurants working in kitchens, that meant that while I was working in the back, not interacting with the customer at all, I was working with the people that were directly serving the customers, and the level of service I was able to provide to them (my customers), helped the level of service that they were able to give to their customers.
Now, have another sip of your coffee, sit back and think about that for a minute. Don’t worry, the lightbulb will go off very soon, trust me.
And when it does, you will start to see the brilliance provided by Mr. Albrecht and how it applies to you and your customers. If you continue to think about this (like I have for the past 20 years), besides seeing the brilliance in it, you will also start to believe it and even practice it. Or, at least you should.
Much like the other, simplest-thing-you-can-do-to-impress-someone trick that I know. This one is a toughy, but I think you can handle it. Ready?
Use their name.
It’s the 21st century now and I think it’s about time that we trade in those stuffy “sir”s and “ma’am”s for a persons name. It’s dead simple to do and will make your customers feel like you really care about them and think of them as a person as opposed to another number on a screen.
Did you know that you get so many chances to get a persons name it’s not even funny? If you work retail and the customer pays by credit card, their name is right there! On the card. No foolin’. If you have a CRM open on your desktop with the customer’s account information, it’s there too, right at the top of the screen (usually).
Starbucks will ask your name when you place your order. A good employee will notice you when you come back. A better employee will great you by name when you come back for the 5th time. An employee that should be getting paid quite a bit more than they are should will even remember your drink.
2 tricks for you this fine Sunday that I hope will help you as much as they have helped me. Do you have an easy tip that helps you to get through your day? Share it below!
Sure I may not be full-time employed, but I do have an office. Actually, I have about 15 of them. I really could use something else.
Sure hangin’ out at Starbucks is cool, and with my FIOS access to WiFi, it doesn’t cost me anything to connect to the tubes so I can get a few things done. But, hangin’ out at a Starbucks can be distracting.
There is music that I don’t like. Loud talking Mom’s enjoying the freedom they are again getting during the day. Even the occassional screaming child or hyper 3 year old. If the distractions are minimal, I can usually tune them out. But it’s hard when there is a small child bouncing off the chairs and repeating themselves while the parental unit tries to carry on a conversation about the latest gossip.
I keep hoping, watching, waiting for someone, anyone, in the Temecula to start a co-working facility. It’s like an office rental, but not really. More like a Starbucks, but without the distractions and a copy machine. I keep looking, but the best I can find is office sub-letting, and that’s exactly what i don’t want and can’t afford.
If someone where to open a place, offer WiFi and a coffee pot, and charge me $20 per day to use a chair, I would gladly pay.
Or maybe I’ll start one myself. Now, where would I find funding?
This or That?
Spending a fair amount of time out and about lately. Which is to say that I haven’t been anywhere near my Mac or an Internet connection, short of email/Facebook access from the Blackberry. Boy would it be handy if I had Internet access while out in the field. So I’ve been checking prices and I’m not happy with what I have found.
My local Starbucks use AT&T for wifi internet connectivity. I can buy 2 hour blocks for $4 or sign up for an account, locked into a 1 year contract for $20 per month. I could also add tethering to the Blackberry. For the ability to do this, Verizon will gladly charge me an additional $30 per month, again on a 1 year contract. While I’m not terribly keen on either of these, AT&T is appealing because it’s $10 a month cheaper, but I would be stuck getting access at Starbucks. Verizon is as well because I know the service is good and I would have the flexibility to access anywhere as long as I have a USB cable.
There is a new option that I will be researching this weekend as well. As it turns out, since I am a Verizon FiOS customer, they are offering WiFi connectivity free at select locations. From what I understand, I only need install an app on my computer to use for connecting. I think this would be the way to go, mostly because I’m such a big fan of free.
I am curious as to how you connect when mobile via computer (not iPhone).
w(t)f video hour #21
The gym, jackhammers and starbucks. Everything you would expect.
By the time you see this, I am either on my way to Arizona, in Arizona or on my way home from Arizona. I will be back early since I will be at the LA Auto Show first thing Wednesday morning.
It happened again
This time, with teh lad.
We had both gotten our hair cut and he decided we should stop for Starbucks. I agreed and made it happen as I was the one driving. Not that he is driving yet, but I wanted to be clear.
So, we roll into the parking lot. New Wine Bar/Restaurant has recently opened called D’Canters. I thought it was clever too and for that reason they will get my business one day.
Into Starbucks we go. In line behind, and I’m really sorry to say this, the largest woman I have ever seen standing. And, she was talking. And asking very many questions.
About 5 minutes into this the girl that was actually making coffee got bored and asked teh lad and I what we wanted. We gave her our drink order and she made them. Meanwhile, we are still standing behind giagantor who, at this point, must be trying to get information about opening her very own Starbucks.
While we stood there I wanted our drinks get made. Then, set on the counter where the register was. But, alas, all we could do was stare, longingly, at our drinks. We were still waiting for this woman to order her coffee.
Finally, after being in the store for 15 minutes, we managed to get our drinks, pay for them and get out.
Before you start goin’ all hater on the fat woman, let me give you a little behind the scenes.
While we stood in line waiting for her highness to order her drinks (oh yea, dickwad in the corner wanted DECAF, and he was quite a prick about it), I counted no less than 4 employees. There was our girl dealing with order from hell, there was the girl that made our drinks, there was another that I think was working the drivethru (which was empty) and another working the coffee machine for the drivethru (which was empty). Oh yea, and the dude that took out the trash. So, make that 5 employees. And only 2 were doing anything.
Don’t suppose the girl working the drivethru register could have come over and taken our money do you? Probably not for fear that her boss would get upset because the drive thru counts would be off. That leaves us with 3. Obviously the girls making coffee couldn’t take our money since a cash drawer was not assigned to either of them. That leaves 1, the mouth breathing punk taking out the trash. I had a hard time imagining him tying his own shoes so I’m sure something as complicated as a touch screen POS system that, no kidding, retarded people working at McDonald’s can use would be a bit of a challenge.
Of course props to our girl (that I have seen in another location before, and she isn’t a slacker) for getting our order made so quickly. Not her fault that teh lad’s blended mug-of-too-sweet-to-drink was practically melted by the time we paid for it.
The moral of our story. Well, I don’t really have one. But, it is trips to Starbucks like this that don’t leave me wondering what’s wrong with them. Even a little bit. It’s time we got our collective shit together Starbucks management and figure out how to take care of your customers.
And, to those of you that are difficult orderers, honest to fucking god, stop. There is no reason, none, for you to take more than 15 minutes to order 2 cups of coffee. NONE! Stop it already.