Starting With 30 Cents of Communication for Customer Service Excellence

Simon sent me this lunchtime message that demonstrates how important communication is to customer service excellence: “Whilst waiting for my toasted focaccia, a young man came into the shop and asked for a salad sandwich.

“While the shop owner prepared the sandwich, the young man kept saying ‘Give me heaps of carrot,’ and “Give me heaps of beetroot,’ etc.

“When it came time to pay, the shop owner rang up the transaction and said, ‘That’s $3.50.’ The customer replied, ‘But the price says $3.20.’

“The shop owner explained that the customer had requested ‘extra’ salad. The customer was dismayed and replied, ‘I wasn’t aware I had to pay extra.’

“The shop owner became angry and stood his ground, insisting on the higher sandwich price. The customer said he did not have any more money and left with the shop owner giving him a filthy look.”

Of course, that customer will never return – and I’m quite sure he will tell others about his bad experience. Those he tells may avoid the sandwich shop, because of its lack of customer service excellence.

The shop owner should have checked whether his menu pricing reflected a surcharge for “extra” toppings. I looked, and it didn’t.

For the sake of 30 cents, how much business has this shop owner lost?

It’s quite true that customers will “take advantage” every chance they get. But there’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, it’s why customers come to you in the first place. They have made their comparisons and decided that you offer best value for their money.

Why, then, should you be upset when customers try to get everything they can? After all, you offered it.

The problem is not the customer, it’s the company that lacks clear and attractive communications to champion customer service excellence.

A simple note on the sandwich shop menu reading “Extra Items = 30 cents,” would have neatly solved the problem while demonstrating customer service excellence.

What would solve the problem at your place of business?

Key Learning Point For Customer Service Excellence

Full-bodied communication with customers leads to understanding, delight and customer service excellence. By contrast, sparse or misleading communication leads only to distress.

Action Steps For Customer Service Excellence

To ensure customer service excellence, do a complete review of your marketing materials, product and service guidelines, purchasing instructions and guarantees. Make sure every promise you make is crystal clear, and everything you offer is completely and gladly delivered.

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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “UP! Your Service” books and founder of UP! Your Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpYourService.com.

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