What does your customer see?


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Most businesses I frequent in my daily travels will be experiences “as expected,” with no surprises or unusual situations to draw attention to carelessness. However, every now and then, I’ll hit a glitch in the basics. While something minor may be noticed by me (someone who is hyper-focused on the customer experience), it may not even be noticed by other customers.

But that’s the trick, isn’t it? Being so hyper-focused to be as attentive as your most detail-oriented customer, and yet be as realistic as possible with what is actually important.

Here is one example of something that is a personal pet peeve of mine when I am in a food establishment of any type:

I know, you’re saying, “What the heck is that?” It’s actually a lighting fixture above one of the seating areas in a local coffee shop, and all of those little “dots” at the bottom of each globe is, well, a dead bug of some sort.

Now, would most people notice this? Probably not, especially since this fixture is about 12′ off the floor in a vaulted ceiling area, and you literally would have to be looking right up to see it. But it speaks to the issue of what customers consider an important issue. And in the case of restaurants, issues of cleanliness have a heightened focus. Many people seeing this might never come back in to this establishment.

Here’s a poignant image of what greeted me immediately after walking into a fast food restaurant for lunch:

This was just inside the entry door, and on the way to the ordering station. Granted, it was just after the lunch rush, but still speaks to the carelessness of staff to guests entering the restaurant.

Now, on the positive side of customer satisfaction, I noticed this little feature at a Starbucks:

This Starbucks has a little doggy water dish outside its entry door on the public sidewalk for the shopping center. Now, I am not a dog owner, but I can tell you, that a little positive added feature like this just reeks of community and wide appeal. Anyone walking their dog past this area will invariably encounter this dish as their dog locates it. And what does the owner do? Stands there and reads the coffee specials posted in the window of the store. Increased business? Probably negligible at best; however, the benefit reaped in the statement of providing a need for passing pets carries much more weight and benefit. This is the type of thing that causes a good impression which spreads by word of mouth.

So both of these issues point out the fickle nature of customers, and the constantly moving target of satisfying customers – all of your customers – that come in the door. Do your diligence in ensuring your establishment leaves nothing to question in areas of cleanliness and preparedness, and find ways of providing extra benefits that may not reflect directly into your cash register. There is a good chance, however, that those added benefits will sink increased revenue to your bottom line.

Just for fun…

“Money will not buy happiness, but it will let you be unhappy in nice places.” – Unknown

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Martorano
Steve has been on the front lines with customers for over 25 years. He is currently Director of Customer Services for Polygon Northwest, a real estate developer in both the Seattle and Portland markets. Steve is also the creator of ThinkCustomerSatisfaction.com, an online resource designed to provide insights and training to customer professionals across many industries.


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