“What kind of work do you do?” the optician asks me. “I train,” I answer.
He continues with his measurements. And yes, after 10 minutes or so, there it is. The follow up question.
“So, I’m curious, what kind of training do you do?” “Around customer service and experience,” I say. A pause.
“And? Did I pass?” he asks. “A seven. Are you satisfied with that?” I ask. “Yes, I’m happy with a seven. Do I have things I can improve upon?” I don’t feel like answering. “I don’t really see any. You?” I ask. “No, me neither,” he says happily.
EVERY EXPERIENCE IS A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
I’m sorry. Mea culpa. I didn’t feel like it. Not that day. To explain that:
- Tucking his shirt would look better than leaving it hanging
- Shaking my hand and introducing himself to me would have made me feel more welcome I really wouldn’t mind if he used my name
- That a short explanation of what we were about to do would have been more pleasurable than simply pointing at a room that I’m supposed to enter
- That a ‘Welcome to would reassure me that I made the right choice stepping through his doors
- When they have a Nespresso machine and I’m in the shop for at least an hour, a cup of coffee would have been quite nice. Especially on a Saturday morning
- I wouldn’t be harassment if his colleagues would greet me as they walk past. Just a nod. Nothing extravagant
- Printing paper taped to the wall looks sad. Especially when the message is out of date
I didn’t say those things. I did think them.
“But,” I can hear you say, “now you take away this salesman’s opportunity to learn.” You’re right. Only on that day, I wasn’t a trainer. I was a customer. A customer with opinions, who doesn’t say anything. Like so many of us.
WOULD YOU BE YOUR OWN CUSTOMER?
What I wondered specifically, is what spot customer service occupies in this store’s agenda. Do they talk about it with each other? How critical are they towards themselves, and towards each other? Is a seven really good enough? Would they choose to be their own customer?
When I walked out of the store, I was bothered. I hadn’t said anything when he asked for my opinion. I turned around, found the salesman and gave him a few pointers. I also asked how much time they spend on customer experience.
“We regularly attend a course. During the New Year’s speech, our CEO always addresses the issue. But in the store? It may sound weird, because we do think it’s important, but it’s often left behind.”
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS LIKE GOING TO THE GYM: IT NEEDS REGULAR EXERCISE
Customer service and customer experience requires our continuous attention. Daily, concrete and conscious thought. Keep asking ourselves whether what we do and what decisions we make serve our customers. What should we start paying attention to more starting today? What can we do to serve our customers (even) better? How do we help each other to succeed? Ask our customers personally (no survey) how they experience your customer service?. Use them as a source of inspiration.
So, everyday? Yes. During the Christmas dinner, you won’t say proudly “Wow, I went to the gym three times this year!” You make an impression when you say that you went to the gym three times a week for the entire year. Well, OK, you’ll impress me by going twice a week too. You get my point.