I am constantly reminded of the importance of building positive relationships with our customers. And here I’m using the term ‘customers’ to refer loosely to the people whom we serve. They could be our guests, our clients, our members, our patients or even our families.
Often, what customers say they want is not really what they need. And through strengthening relationships with those whom we serve, we build up experience and tacit knowledge (that which may not be articulated) of that client and their needs. And by matching those needs with our products or services, we are far more likely to have positive outcomes that keep others happy. In addition, by knowing our customers capabilities, and those of our products or services, we are more likely to be able to pro-actively suit their changing needs and sustain the relationship through customer loyalty.
I’d like to share a recent example. What I love about the Oyster Box Hotel’s management team is how they pro-actively make the world a better place for everyone. We are frequent guests but because my husband is handicapped, for many years he has preferred to remain on the hotel verandah or pool and not venture down onto the beach. Thus he cannot remember when he last felt sand beneath his feet.
On a previous visit, the maintenance engineer, Jonathan Olsen mentioned that he had noticed that Ed remained on the verandah or near the pool and never went down the steps onto the beach. Jonathan suggested that he, with his team, would help get Ed down onto the sand. This seemed a difficult feat even if the team were to almost carry Ed in a wheelchair down the steps and onto the beach. However, Jonathan inspired such confidence that with his assistance, Ed was able to hold onto the rail and walk down the steps. Once on the beach we were treated like royalty with chairs and table neatly set up for us and Simon Chakanyuka being assigned to look after us. The ‘cherry on the top’ was a plate of delicacies with ‘well done’ written on the plate.
I say ‘well done’ to The Oyster Box Hotel’s management and staff who pro-actively explore possibilities, ensure comfort and enable guests to experience life to the fullest. They certainly provide service excellence at its best. Our family is extremely grateful to them for their many kindnesses.
My questions for you, the readers are:
- Whom are you serving?
- How well do you know their needs?
- In which ways can you anticipate how you may make the world a better place for them?
Once you have reflected on those questions:
- What action can you take now to serve them better?
- How soon can you implement your intentions?
For more information on our customer service strategy or training services, leadership development or executive coaching you are welcome to contact me - Phone: +27 33 3425432, Mobile: + 27 82 4993311, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
What an exceptional example of outstanding service., where the staff went way beyond their call of duty. May this story inspire all businesses locally and internationally, both great and small, especially those offering a product or service or both, to go the extra mile.