We all live and work in a constellation of relationships based on service. You can see this with the customers you serve and the suppliers who serve you. But this is also true with colleagues, employees, managers, family, friends, government agencies and community members. When you learn how to connect to your customers’ connections, you can improve customer experience greatly.
When you improve service in every direction of your life, you’ll find new ways to connect to your customers, through your customers and improve customer experience at the same time.
Paul in South Africa explains:
“Passing on supplier benefits to our customers’ employees creates a deep-rooted loyalty that is hard to break. We supply fuel to a company with a large fleet of trucks on commercial contract. But we also give the truck drivers a special deal on fuel for their personal cars and on any purchases they make at our convenience stores. This creates brand familiarity and appreciation that are part of their daily lives.”
What a positive and productive idea. But how many suppliers are doing this? Are yours? Are you? Think of how this could improve customer experience in your business.
Sandy and Savvy enjoy vacations at The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada. The hotel knows they adore their friendly dog, Tess, and bring her along whenever they visit. Two weeks before a recent vacation, the dog received this letter:
It was good to learn you will be bringing your parents to the Wickaninnish Inn. Upon arrival at the Inn there will be some paperwork for one of your parents to complete regarding responsibility for you while at the Inn. Once that is complete and you are settled in your room, the 1.5 mile long Chesterman Beach awaits, and there are many sticks for you to choose from!
Do remember not to chase the birds, as many of them use the beach as a resting and feeding area on their migration route. There is a washing station and towel storage as you leave the beach, where you can rinse off salt water or sandy paws and dry off.
Please be aware that the District of Tofino requires all dogs to be on a leash at all times. This bylaw does include all public beaches including Chesterman Beach. Remind your parents to bring your leash!
A few final points to remember are that we ask you to wear your leash at all times in the common areas of the Inn, and that you never be left unattended in the room unless you have brought your portable house. We do have a couple of houses available at the Inn. Lastly, your parents are paying an additional $20.00 per night for your stay, so treat them kindly and do not make off with their slippers.
We look forward to seeing you at the Inn.
Crystal @ The Wickaninnish Inn
What a smart letter! What a smart way to improve customer experience!
The Wickaninnish Inn serves the “paying” customer by writing to the “pawing” customer with all the rules and regulations. Everything is clearly stated, but no one takes offense. In fact, I’ll bet Tess’s tail is wagging (Sandy’s and Savvy’s, too). Improve customer experience in this manner and customers will remember you.
Here’s another powerful example of how to improve customer experience:
The Prisons Department in Singapore says: “Our mission in life is to get criminals out of prison.” To help prisoners rehab, renew, restart and not return, the department manages a holistic program of in-care and after-care service. The Prisons Department connects to each ex-offender by connecting through the police, courts, family members, friends, neighbors, volunteers, employers and society at large.
Question: Who is the customer?
Answer: Everyone. Remember this can you can improve customer experience.
Key learning point to improve customer experience
Connecting with your customers can include much more than just direct contact. The people in your customers’ lives could be people you serve, too. This, in turn, can improve customer experience to everyone’s benefit.
Action steps to improve customer service
Draw a bicycle wheel with your customers in the center. Put key people (and pets!) in your customers’ lives on each of the connecting spokes. Now find new ways to serve those “connected people” better to improve customer experience. Ask them what you might do to help, add value or simply make things easier. Check with your customers, too.
Remember, each time you connect through your customers, you also connect to your customers. Improve customer experience by reaching out and you will reap rewards.
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.