I am sitting in my local coffee shop (a big brand, not Sbux) and wondering what I want to blog about. I am the only customer sitting in here on a Saturday afternoon, so perhaps the employees forgot about me. What disturbs me is the LOUD conversation I am hearing behind the counter.
“Wow, can you believe three limos of high school students pulled up the other night after their dance and we had to make a whole bunch of lattes, iced teas, and frozen drinks? It took forever to close!”
“Some huge PTA group came in the other day at 8:30 pm and promised they would help put the chairs back when they were done. They finally left at 9 pm, and the place was a mess. We didn’t get out of there for ages that night. How rude.”
“Julie was in here and was so drunk, we closed the doors early and put chairs in front of them so no one would come in.”
I am very tempted to stand up and say, “Hey, guys and gals, I write a blog on the customer experience, and I am not too impressed right now!”
I don’t think they realize that every word they are saying reflects on the business. They don’t seem to want to put in a little extra effort to service large orders late at night because it inconveniences them. They don’t seem to be glad that I am here at all; they are too busy with their own “social hour” behind the counter.
You’re On Stage
You can spend a lot of money building up your brand and creating a cool logo. You can market the latest coffee drinks and specials to all your local customers. You can build a fabulous customer loyalty program to reward your best customers. However, if your employess are not doing their part to support the business, it is all a waste of money.
Great customer service happens every minute, even when no one seems to be looking. At Disneyland, they call their employees Cast Members (CMs) and tell them they are “on stage” whenever they go into any area where their customers (guests) can see or hear them. A customer’s perception is a critical part of whether their experience is positive or negative. Every employee contributes to that perception, every minute, regardless of whether they are behind the counter, a rep on the phone, or a member of the cleaning staff. On that last item, even the janitorial staff at Disney participates in one of the park’s most popular activities, Pin Trading; check out this post from a Disney discussion forum:
At WDW (Walt Disney World) even the janitor CMs had pin lanyards on. The best places we found for pins was at Crystal Palace and Cosmic Ray’s. The manager at Cosmic Ray’s actually got on his radio and requested that all CMs that had lanyards and were available to please come over so a young man could trade with them. Talk about some pixie dust!
Customers Rock! take: Treat your employees like gold, and they will take care of your customers. Hire customer service employees who are people with a passion for serving others. And remind them all that anytime they are potentially visible or within earshot of customers, they are still “on stage”!
(Photo credit: argus456)