One of the secrets of a great Customer Experience….

Written by Colin Shaw

A few weeks ago we conducted our annual “Customer Experience Study Tour” in London England. This is where we take delegates to visit a number of leading Customer Experience companies for a behind-the-scenes look at how they approachrepparttar task of building a great Customer Experience. Companies include Pret-a-manger, Virgin Atlantic, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, Dell Computers, T-Mobile, Lexus Cars, AOL and Microsoft. As we traveled around these companies onrepparttar 145171 luxury coach, I pondered whatrepparttar 145172 common traits are of companies who provide a great Customer Experience. Undoubtedly one of these traits is “attention to detail”.

So let’s give you an insight to what some of these companies did. Pret-a-Manger told us aboutrepparttar 145173 absolute struggle they go through to make sure that allrepparttar 145174 ingredients in their sandwiches are additive free so as to enhancerepparttar 145175 taste ofrepparttar 145176 sandwiches. This involves a great deal of searching to determinerepparttar 145177 best supplier, as well as extensive tasting. The time and money they spend on this activity is phenomenal and costs a great deal. But this is part of their attention to detail.

Liam Lambert, Director ofrepparttar 145178 Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel told us of his “attention to detail”. He wanted his doorman to stand out as “beacon’s” to help promoterepparttar 145179 hotel - as it is onrepparttar 145180 less busy side ofrepparttar 145181 street. He saw other hotel doormen who were all dressed in “grey” overcoats. This colour made them blend into their hotel buildings and act as great camouflage! Liam decided to dress his doorman in red! Truly a beacon! It worked! More people noticed than ever before.

Liam told us about how he treats his new arrivals. Our group were privileged to attend and witness his “Morning Prayers”. This is where allrepparttar 145182 managers from allrepparttar 145183 departments inrepparttar 145184 hotel get together EVERY MORNING and talk through EACH AND EVERY new guest that is arriving atrepparttar 145185 hotel that day. They look at who they are. They look at where they are coming from and therefore how likely they are to be tired for instance. They even get on their guests web site and try and find out more aboutrepparttar 145186 person coming to stay so that they can serve them better! Finally, if available onrepparttar 145187 web site, they will print a picture ofrepparttar 145188 individual who is staying with them and place it onrepparttar 145189 “Guests Wall” sorepparttar 145190 staff can recogniserepparttar 145191 person by name! So do you go into that amount of detail with your customers?

Are you Coward

Written by Colin Shaw

Are You A Coward? I Was.

By Colin Shaw, Founding Partner, Beyond Philosophy -- May 2004

Overrepparttar last month, I have come to hate emails and answer phones; not because I get 100 emails every day but because emails and answer phones are fast becomingrepparttar 145170 tool ofrepparttar 145171 coward. At Beyond Philosophy we worked with a client a while ago whose account managers and sales teams never used to speak to anyone! They just used to send emails. Ifrepparttar 145172 customer called in they were greeted by answerphones which were kept on all day. You seerepparttar 145173 sales teams were all busy doing “real” work. The customers were just interrupting them. Surely this must berepparttar 145174 height of “inside out” behaviour.

But why do people do this? Primarily, it is because we all feel we can say things in emails that we would never say face to face. In my experience this never works how people would expect. No matter how hard you try, you think you have written one thing andrepparttar 145175 person reads something else. Before you know it you have lost a customer or lost a friend. We seem to forget that that all important ‘relationship’ withrepparttar 145176 customer is built on human contact, not emails!

One example springs to mind a few years ago when I worked in a multinational organisation and was involved in a large internal project. Things were not going well. I decided to send a “broadside” torepparttar 145177 party who were driving me nuts! I took great delight in constructingrepparttar 145178 email. It was actually quite therapeutic. I worked on it to getrepparttar 145179 right message across so they would absolutely read betweenrepparttar 145180 lines and understand what I thought. I pressedrepparttar 145181 button and off intorepparttar 145182 ether it went. I remember thinking, ‘Great I have told them what I think’. COWARD! How stupid I was, how naive, how self-righteous I was, and how wrong I was!

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