Posts Tagged ‘customer delight’

How to Become a Merchant of Wow

Friday, December 14th, 2012

 

 

The Transcript of How to Become a Merchant of Wow

Hi, I’m here on the magnificent island paradise of Mauritius. It’s a gorgeous day. We’re ending out the tour, and I wanted to take you through some quick ideas on customer experience, actually, being a merchant-of-wow in the work that you do, based on where I am right now. I’m at a place called Shanti. It’s a resort. It’s from the Nira resorts here in Mauritius. I’m on this island paradise. Mauritius is just magnificent. I mean, just check out the surf over there and the food and the people and the culture and the beauty. On this resort everything is just OAD (obsessive attention to details). They want to get every little thing right.

I was talking to the general manager when I came in and he said, “It’s the little things that make the big experience.” I think one of the things I want to show you is… They told me when I checked in, because I was sort of blown away by a number of the little details and the culture of this property. I asked, “How do you get it done? How come everyone is so amazing, for example, in terms of treating the guests with such care?” One of the things they showed me… Hopefully, we’re going to get this on the video, but this is the uniform that a lot of the people who work here wear. You won’t believe this, but literally stitched right into the collar of the uniform – I hope you can see that – but it says, “Guest is God”. Some of their core values are stitched actually into the shirt so when you put on the shirt every morning, you remember the core values. Is that not unbelievable?

Look, inside one of the areas of the shirt “perfection”. Let’s see where else. Okay, you know what? This is incredible. If you look inside as you put on your sleeve, you see the word – everyone of us needs to see this every day. Look at that, “passion”. Remember that. Let’s see what’s on the inside of… Oh, look at this. The pocket, the pocket of the shirt the word, you see that? I hope you can, “trust” and then the other sleeve is what we’re all about, what leadership is all about, which is “service”.

Oh, I just want to show you one more thing. All the employees carry this little booklet, and it’s so well done, and in the booklet – you can see it right here. In the booklet, the key values that they want to live by and think by and brain tattoo into their mind set so they do genius level work in front of their customers every day are right in this booklet. Here are some of the things. Number one – I thought this was great – guests arrive as residents, leave as friends and return as family. Is that not amazing? How about this? Number three, the answer is yes; now tell me the question. What an incredible mind set for a hotel or for any business? When the customer asks the question or before the customer even asks the question, the answer is yes. Now tell me what you want. Phenomenal mind set. Number five, core value number five. Perfection is a passion for the details. Number seven is great. The culinary art is sacred. And then, finally, we are devoted, number ten, we are devoted to pleasure for our guests.

From beautiful Mauritius, some ideas and some innovation. Was that shirt idea not incredible? The bottom line is great customer experiences and great organizations don’t happen by luck, they happen by all of these little innovative ideas executed on with mono-maniacal perfection.

Thanks a lot from Mauritius. Bye-bye.

Robin Sharma

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The Rare Art of Customer Delight

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Customer DelightThe Vanishingly Rare Art of Customer Delight

Was ready for a flight destined to Houston, en route to my home. I had a tight connection. But I’m an optimist by default. So I was in strong spirits. And set to fly.

The initial delay was 30 minutes. Something about the plane having to be towed from another area to the gate (not sure why someone didn’t tow it over earlier but no worries; there are worse things happening in the world). 30 minutes stretched to an hour. Nearly zero communication nor explanation. The gate agents just typed frenetically on the keyboards as in one of the final scenes of the pretty-much-hilarious “Meet The Parents” movie.

Finally, we boarded. The captain then came on the PA and advised us of a “minor mechanical problem that should be fixed in 15 minutes.” Four hours later we were still on the runway.

When we eventually took off, I’d missed my connection and resigned myself to the adventure of an unexpected evening in Houston (great city). Through it all, no one from the airline said “Sorry”, the gate agents promised at the arrival gate were invisible and no plans were made for hotel accomodations or ground transport. No one seemed to care (when a business treats its people poorly, its people treat their customers poorly – except for the one in one hundred soul who rises above it all because of their personal belief system and Leads Without a Title).

Look, I’m not complaining. Not at all. Delays and disruption are the price of admission for a professional traveler. I had books to read, water to drink and my iPod with hundreds of audiobooks just begging to be consumed. I’m not so special (and certainly no different from you) but I was able to maintain a sense of perspective about the whole thing. But the experience did fine tune and bring into clearer focus the gorgeous opportunity every business has to breed customer loyalty and all -new levels of trust when things don’t go as planned.

Here are some of my thoughts on what a truly world-class airline that really cared about their customers would have done:

4 Keys To Delighting Your Customers

1. Talk To Your Customers: A problem is nothing more than an opportunity to engage and wow the people who keep you in business. The gate agents and personnel could have quickly and regularly explained the situation and assured us all possible progress was being made.

2. Say You’re Sorry: I’m a fanatic about leadership language. Words have such power. The captain talked a lot about “some more bad news”. Better to just give us the facts – and hold off on the emotion. But even more importantly, say “sorry” when you need to say sorry. Many of us missed our connections and were caused inconvenience because of this mechanical issue. Yet no one took responsibility.

3. Show Your Customers a Little Humanity: While we waited, the agents could have handed out bottles of water. Or had some protocol that would make a challenging situation easier (or even fun). Maybe the Plan B could have been a boxed sandwich. Or some special chocolates. Or just walking around checking in with as many passengers as possible to make human connections (I saw one passenger buy Chinese food and share it with people around him…shared decency amidst adversity).

4. Go Beyond Expectations: Most businesses don’t even deliver on what they promise in their advertising and sloganeering. Imagine, when we arrived in Houston (it was nearly midnight), if we were provided with transport to a hotel, a healthy meal, and a letter on check in wishing us a great night, while thanking us for giving the airline our business.

Business brilliance is pretty simple. Maybe not easy.  But pretty simple. And it begins with caring about the people who keep you going.

Keep Leading Without A Title!

Robin Sharma

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