I'm on a field trip with my fifth-grade son to Washington DC. I get to watch over three young boys this evening. So I asked them after a full day of touristing... What would you consider to be the best and worst customer service you received today?
The best? Happened in the Food Court at the Old Post Office Pavilion. The guy working the Chick-En-Joy stand had a lot of enthusiasm and excitement and passion for his food. Got the boys fired up for eating chicken nuggets better than anyone this side of Ronald.
The worst? Waiting in line. We waited to get off the bus. We waited to get into breakfast. We waited to enter the National Archives. We even waited to go through security to enter a food court. A lot of hurry-up and wait.
Not earth-shattering revelations, but two good lessons, nonetheless.
No matter what your age, you will always be attracted to the person who has passion and enthusiasm for his products. If nothing else, you will stop and listen to his pitch for his tasty chicken strips and nuggets even if you opt for the adobe chicken burrito two stands over.
No one likes to wait in line. Disney and other theme parks have learned this and found diversions to keep you occupied during necessary waits and delays.
What can you do distract, divert and delight your customers whenever necessary waiting is required? Do you offer them a chair while you look something up? Do you hand them reading material? My chiropractor does that, always offering a new brochure asking "Have you read this?" at every visit. Do you give them something to occupy their mind to make the wait go quicker? We didn't get any of that today, and it showed.
The kids have spoken. Listen to the children.
PS My favorite customer service was our tour guide at Gettysburg (our first stop on the way to DC). He combined history, storytelling, and passion into a rocked-my-world presentation that makes me want to go back with the rest of the family... soon. The clincher was the stories. He knew we were from Michigan so he told us about how the Michigan 16th Calvary held the line against a more powerful Texas group and changed the course of the battle for good. The details were rich and powerful and credible. The emotions were palpable. Tell stories about your business. They will make a difference and make people want to come back.