In the past 24 hours, I’ve heard two stories from different sources that illustrate the difference between truly servicing the needs of your customers and what it means to only pay lip service to it.
The first example was a story told me by a friend who’s technically in sales, but who ends up executing her client events after they’ve been put together by the in-house planner. She arrived at the venue in Charleston, S.C., several hours early to check the set-ups and meet with the caterer. When the caterer did arrive — two hours later — the first thing out of the caterer’s mouth was what she wasn’t able to do. As in, “If too many people arrive, we’re not going to wait on them.”
Without missing a beat, my friend said, “Fine, I’ve got 45 minutes to shower and get ready. I’ll just make sure I wear flats, and if anyone extra comes, I’ll wait on them myself.” The caterer responded, “I’m just trying to present all the solutions first.” To which my friend said, “No you’re not, you’re telling me what you won’t do and what you’re not willing to do.”
Later, my friend mused, “The older I get, the more I realize that it’s that kind of dead-end thinking that keeps you trapped in jobs.”
In contrast, I read this fun article about a hotel that has created a clever solution to a petty annoyance all travelers deal with: waiting for the elevator. When guests check in, the front desk staff push an elevator call button. By the time the guest gets to the elevator, it’s there waiting for them. Now that’s a proactive way to deliver solutions and excellent customer service.
What are some clever things your supplier partners have done that have exceeded your expectations? Do you have examples of the way you offer superior customer service to your clients and attendees? Share them below!