I believe there are a great many people out there, customers and managers and owners, who will identify with these examples of what not to do.

Recently I came across two examples of service so embarrassingly bad that I cringed. I watched with interest as a conversation, and not one relating to work I must add, was completed before a party of three customers was dealt with. The second, at a world renown attraction was when a rather stressed member of staff, in a loud stage whisper was heard to exclaim “where do all these people come from, theres just too many”. Certainly there are ways to perhaps get away with a comment like this, but believe me, the exasperation came across not as a fun comment.

Maybe it’s a “so what” point, the customer is already at your reception, or perhaps already paid and the problem has occurred later in the process, at the Tea Shop or during a guided tour experience. Believe me, the very first thing a customer who has experienced this, when asked about their trip, will tell their friends the bad things first.

I’ve done this and I’m sure you have too. Think of the impact on your business of such adverse word-of-mouth comment. Not only have you spoiled one visit (and maybe reduced their spend whilst with you) but you’ve lost potential return visits, visits by their friends or children’s school, and certainly lost all hope of capturing their loyalty.

I haven’t made these up, and indeed can provide enough awful examples to fill an after dinner talk.

Then, of course, you have the redeeming examples of Customer Service. The sort that lift your heart and raises your spirits. The attention and the “extra mile” attitude that makes you smile and you talk about later.

Its like playing golf. One or two got shots in a round of 85 blows makes you go back for more.

I am so passionate about the delivery of excellence in Customer Service that the first two clients signing up for an audit during May, providing they’re within (say) 50 miles of my Edinburgh home base, will receive a 50% discount – making this the best investment in your customer care that you’ve made, ever.

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