What do you think is one of the most important virtues of memorable customer service?
My Sister Terri is a customer service specialist. She lives and breathes how to help staff make others feel important, respected and have a WOW connection. She was staying at the new airport hotel and took the 6am shuttle van to the departures terminal. The driver was a young man who was obviously new to the job and not a morning person. She noticed that he avoided eye contact and how he spoke briefly and with a dispassionate tone. In short, he acted like he didn’t want to be there.
She was the only one in the van and she commented, “Do you know you are leaving at least 100$ a day on the table?” That piqued his curiosity so she continued, “I don’t know you and you’ll likely never see me again but if you want, I can share a few tips in the 10 minutes it takes us to get to terminal on how to have that 100$ in your pocket.”
Terri proceeded to share sensible tips for being genuine, open and welcoming in a way that makes people feel important. She asked him about two people he respected and admired. He spoke fondly of his grandmother and his high school coach. Goal: Treat each person like you would if you were helping them. Be helpful, open and show you care, in essence, be friendly. She gave him a $20 tip and said this is the first of many if you treat people with friendliness.
Weeks later she happened to be in the lobby of the same hotel and the young driver came up to her and exclaimed, “It worked!” He went on to share how being friendly did garner more tips from people grateful for his role in helping them have fresh start at the crack of dawn. But he also made sure to mention how it changed his own attitude towards work. Instead of counting off the trips till quitting time he measured his day in smiles. He felt more energized and the days flew by and it helped him wake up fresh to face the day.
When or where could you call on the virtue of friendliness more often?