When we have a memorable customer service experience–for good or for bad–what do we talk about?
We talk about the “who”–the person–that caused it.
When we stop patronizing a business or when we keep coming back, why do we do it?
We are loyal or leave because of the “who.”
When it comes to service, the what and the why are always a who.
I’ve written about Fred the Postman, the most incredible postal carrier I’ve ever met. Yesterday I encountered the postal carrier for my office. “Is it too late to mail a letter?” I inquired. She stuck out her hand, the non-verbal suggestion that “No, it isn’t too late, just give it to me.” I did and said “thank you” to a mute service provider.
Good or bad, it is always about the who.
I get gas and buy a newspaper at the same convenience store most days. I’ve become friends with Rick who works mornings. He’s been missing in action. I’ve learned he had a knee injury. Nobody knows when he’ll be back. The people filling in for Rick are okay, but they’re not Rick. I miss his upbeat demeanor and helpfulness. I’m less disposed to buying my papers or gas there until he returns.
Why we love or hate an experience and what we do about it inevitably comes back to the who: who did or didn’t perform. Who helped or hindered. Who solved the problem or who created it.
To get control of the what and they why, pay close attention to the who.
Right you are. After all, anyone can fry you an egg, sell you a magazine, do your taxes, deliver your mail, (insert your own job function here). But those rare few who take pride in their job and show interest in their customer really stand apart.
Success in business or your personal life depends so much on relationships. You could sell a average product or give marginal service and still make a living by creating and keeping an outstanding relationship with your customers.