Its amazing what can happen in a Starbucks in 5 minutes over the span of 2 years. Those kids know what's up.
— db (@dbwilldo) December 8, 2009
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. It is 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, 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!