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 approach 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 on luxury coach, I pondered what 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 about absolute struggle they go through to make sure that all ingredients in their sandwiches are additive free so as to enhance taste of sandwiches. This involves a great deal of searching to determine 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 of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel told us of his “attention to detail”. He wanted his doorman to stand out as “beacon’s” to help promote hotel - as it is on less busy side of 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 all managers from all departments in hotel get together EVERY MORNING and talk through EACH AND EVERY new guest that is arriving at 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 about person coming to stay so that they can serve them better! Finally, if available on web site, they will print a picture of individual who is staying with them and place it on “Guests Wall” so staff can recognise person by name! So do you go into that amount of detail with your customers?
Are you CowardWritten by Colin Shaw
Are You A Coward? I Was.
By Colin Shaw, Founding Partner, Beyond Philosophy -- May 2004
Over 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 becoming tool of 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. If customer called in they were greeted by answerphones which were kept on all day. You see sales teams were all busy doing “real” work. The customers were just interrupting them. Surely this must be 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 and 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’ with 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” to party who were driving me nuts! I took great delight in constructing email. It was actually quite therapeutic. I worked on it to get right message across so they would absolutely read between lines and understand what I thought. I pressed button and off into 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!