When Customer Service Fails because of poor Employee Engagement
Funny Motivational Speaker Amy Dee’s Blog
Years ago, at a speaking engagement, I needed seven copies of a one-sided handout. So, I ran from the event room to the hotel restaurant, where I’d seen a copy machine behind the register.
The young woman at the register was on her cell phone and didn’t look up at me until I started talking. “Sorry to bother you but, I will speak in a meeting room down the hall but, I am a few copies short on my handout. Will you please make me seven copies? I will pay you for them.”
She responded, “Not sure.”
“Not sure? It’s not like I asked her to disarm North Korea or scratch my back or help me carry a mattress to my car. It’s seven copies!” thinking to myself.
Meanwhile, she looked down and began texting again, leaving me waiting for her answer. Eventually, she looked up and said: “I’m sorry; I can’t help you.”
When Customer Service Succeeds because of Employee Ownership
Shocked, I raced to the registration desk in the hotel across the street. The hotel clerk greeted me with a smile, adding, “Looks like you are in a hurry. How can I help you?” Seeing her name tag, I said, “Beth, I need your help. I need seven single copies for a presentation across the street. Will you help me? I am happy to pay you for the copies.”
Beth smiled, saying, “No problem!” She grabbed my copies, placed them in the copy machine behind her. Within a minute, she came around the desk to hand me a tiny stack of prints, saying, “There are few extras in case you need them.”
My heart filled with gratitude, “Thanks so much! You are so kind!!” I leaned in to hug her. Audible comments like “That’s so nice!” “How kind” came from hotel guests watching while they waited in line for her help.
Employee Engagement translates to great Customer Service:
That day my keynote was about employee ownership of customer service. It was the best speech I’d given up to that point because my message had played out that day.
Those two women could make a difference over seven copies, amounting to .70 cents. One walked away from her power, and the other stepped into her power.
From that moment on, during every time in that city, I stayed at Beth’s hotel and ate at Beth’s hotel restaurant.
Nine months later, my local paper announced that the hotel restaurant had closed. It wasn’t a surprise.
In short, customer service doesn’t only happen through grandiose gestures; it happens through small gestures. In other words, often the smallest act of kindness will make a significant difference.
Who is your company to a customer?
Your company is not the radio jingle, the slick campaign slogan, or the CEO.
Your company is the employee who delivers (or not) your service.