Is there a better award than Customer satisfaction for a business?

by Ashvini on April 30, 2012 · 8 comments

in Business

Think of a hotel or rather a resort ( A ). Great location but not so friendly staff. Good food but the guests appear rushed. The hotel charges exorbitant amounts both for stay and food . When you review this hotel on a travel site, the reply you hear from their manager is in this template.

Great customer service

Problem No 1: “I am sorry that …… happened to you. Here is the reason……( and why we are best in the businesses, we received X award last year you see, you smug man, for nothing). (We served you, we helped you, we feed you but you dare complain)However we apologize that you had to go through …… ( but still we did our best).

Problem No 2: “I am sorry that …… happened to you. Here is the reason……( and why we are best in the businesses, we received X award last year you see, you smug man, for nothing). (We served you, we helped you, we feed you but you dare complain)However we apologize that you had to go through …… ( but still we did our best).

Problem No 3: “I am sorry that …… happened to you. blah blah blah

Consider hotel ( B ). Simple location, no fancy food and extremely friendly staff.

  1. “Sir how are you? I remember you came here two years back”. “Really?”
  2. “We waited an extra hour for your lunch, we know people do get confused driving in the hills”
  3. “Sir can we have your feedback? How was your stay?”

I cannot imagine giving feedback to “B”  All they have is “Great” written everywhere. I tell them “You are perfect, you do not need feedback” . They smile. They are perfect. They understand customers. Though they are not rich or corporatized as A, they know what makes a great business. They don’t get any awards and frankly they don’t care. They get all the accolades.

Winning lessons :

  • Putting customer way above any thing else.
  • Taking feedback seriously and making changes.
  • Your satisfied, returning customers are your achievements, not some awards.

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 8 comments }

Jeevanjacobjohn May 8, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Hey Ashvini,

Reading your 4th posts for today, and I already like it :) I am glad that you are recommending others to follow a customer friendly approach. We can’t always satisfy all our customers, but we should try our best. I think I am doing a “good” job in satisfying my readers – but, I am still unsure. I know that I can do some changes and make it a better experience for everyone. Anyways, I hope to learn more from you :)

Jeevan

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hi Jeevan,
In my opinion simple observations that rhyme with the innate sense of logic really work. All I do is to catalog some of the best and some of the not so good practices of businesses I interact with and sometimes I find the hidden gem. I am sure you are also doing a great job looking at your comments. I want learning to be mutual :).
I am glad that you are enjoying the posts :).
Thanks for your comments and I am off to your blog now :).

Sonia May 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

It’s too bad more companies don’t realize this. When we go on vacations…I can’t count the many dumps we stayed in, but the outside looked so nice. Yuk! I use to be a secret shopper for a local grocery chain in my area and one of the things they were tested on was customer service. Duh! It actually went further than that, because they often failed on just the simplest things most times. “Thank by name, Take customer to the product” and more and what was even worse is when the store manager failed to do what he or she was suppose to enforce on to their own employees.

The more I did this secret testing (the pay sucked), I got a real overview of how important customer service was to their business as a whole. Their prices weren’t the cheapest, but their service was unmatched. It’s also why to this day that I shop at this store and no other store I have been to matches. I think businesses try to adhere and make their customers happy, but most either try to hard and fail only to figure out that the entire “team” wasn’t on board to begin with.

To be a business customers will tell their friends and family about, you have to go above and beyond and surpass their own expectations. You can check into a hotel room and it not be the best looking, but if you provide service that they wouldn’t expect, they would still receive favorable feedback no matter how unattractive it looks. Customers want to know you care about them and not about their reputation for being the best.

For your business to really receive praise, don’t ask for it, just give it to your customers.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi Sonia,

Awesome comment once again. Some great businesses are often run at the places/streets our cars cannot reach. They are probably tucked in there creating fabulous products and the only way we can hear about them is from friends who accidentally visited that place. They have done no marketing but they will remember our face for really long.
It is hard to find such businesses but I bet they are highly profitable. I too frequent a restaurant that has got decent food but excellent customer service.
In the long term , business with ultimate customer are going to win :).
Thanks for sharing your experience and insight with us.

Mika Castro May 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

Costumers must need full service and good quality in our businesses established as they help us to see what’s good and bad on it.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Good quality and customer service are the key ingredients in a good business.Not many business understand it though.

JanB May 3, 2012 at 2:41 am

If you advertise you’re good, you better be good. Simple as that. Take your customers serious and give them a personal approach if things go wrong for whatever reason. Even if it’s not your fault the personal approach will let them feel that you’re open and honest.
If you offer a certain commodity (excellent stay etc) you expect the costumer to pay in full. If you can’t deliver what you promise then the customer should not end up with the shitty end of the stick. A partial refund will help most of the time.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena May 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hi Jan,

These tips are great. They did exactly that “argue” on a public review site. It does not matter which side is wrong. The only thing that matters is who wants repeat business. Sadly they are not getting it again .

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