Two years ago, I went to a trade show at the NEC in Birmingham. A friend kindly gave me her apartment to stay in, along with the use of her car. She was gone on holidays so it suited her to do so. Whilst at the trade show we were given some very good presentations on various aspects of business and proper customer service etiquette which was all very compelling and inspiring stuff.
But as good as these presentations were, they didn’t show me anything different about customer services, that I really didn’t know already.
Real customer service
I learned about excellent customer service from a set of car keys. And a lady called Sarah.
Minutes before I was due to fly home, I realised that I had my friend’s car keys in my handbag. I had to get on the plane – it was the last one flying to Ireland that day, I panicked I couldn’t leave my friend without the use of her car! I raced frantically through my options and spotted an airport information booth. I ran up to it and through gasps of breath explained to the woman behind the glass that I needed to find somewhere safe to leave my friend’s keys and still make my plane.
“Here,” she said, immediately extending her hand. “Give them to me. Here’s my name, and mobile phone number. Call your friend and explain where the keys are.”
I was floored.
It’s the easiest and the quickest way” she replied, “all it needs is someone to take responsibility for the problem.”
Take responsibility for the problem
That was it! All it needed was someone to take responsibility for the problem! That’s all you need for great customer service. Not a huge presentation or a huge viral video. Just the willingness of a lady, who was Employee of the Century as far as I was concerned. It’s a lesson that all business owners and their staff can benefit from. When my plane arrived in Dublin, I immediately rang Inter Flora to arrange for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to my lifeline.
Believe it or not, 80% of companies think they have good service, but only 8% of their customers agree (this is according to a survey prepared by Business Management Ltd.).
When a customer comes to you, they have a problem they need you to solve. You can decide to take ownership of the next problem that lands in your lap, whether it’s from a client, a colleague, or just a frazzled, crazy lady.
It may not revolutionize your business. But at the very least, it might inspire a grateful stranger to send you flowers.
To see if we can help you to increase your customer service level to your clients why not contact The Virtual Office on 051 351286 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Post by Samantha Clooney, www.virtualoffices.ie