Ah, those Bling Bags from the latest conference. Pens from our local bank, refillable coffee cups from our favorite barista, and free gas advantage from our grocer. These are all promotional messages sometimes subconscious, to enjoy a company and their product.
My favorite was always the Shell Oil Company serrated knives, a promotion from many years ago, but the longest living/lasting promo out there. We know there is no such thing as that free lunch, and “give-aways” are not as prevalent today as compared to yesterday, but every once in a while you find one, like the Shell knives, which rings true. Such was a pen from the TJX Rewards Program (courtesy of TJ Maxx)
It was one of those pens with message windows that you visit, progressively, as you click the pen. There were six such windows – all oriented to a Shoppers Program they had in play. Sometimes it is the simple message which captures our attention. There was that window – “Smile, Greet, Engage and Thank”. Yep, that is really the heart of the matter when it comes to Customer Service. TJ X must be doing something right, for their numbers are very strong with their Marshalls, TJ Maxx Stores and HomeGoods.
Is Customer Service merely a nice statement or does it need to be practiced all the time with reminders and examples? It should be part of that retail culture and emphasized in every interaction focused upon the Customer. Retail is that big tent which includes not only stores but also all Hospitality businesses. One famous retailer commanded several years ago that no company meeting be held, unless the Customer was the main topic. That is a strong message to the troops, one we all could practice.
It is all about the Customer, more than meeting their needs and expectations, and creating a memorable experience, so that they return and also tell others. And, this begins with the First Impression, when eye contact is made. That smile is the laser which begins the welcome, allowing us (no matter our station or assignment – clerk, sales associate, maid or waitress) to verbalize that sincerity and interest to our Customer for selecting our business in which to shop, stay, eat or recreate. We have the power to influence! That engagement requires our attention, care, respect, sensitivity and warmth – anticipating questions and needs, addressing complaints immediately, fulfilling their requirements. The farewell is just as important as the welcome. Our Customers have choices, and they need to know we fully appreciate their business.
There were only four simple key words in that pen’s panel – “Smile, Greet, Engage, and Thank”. Sufficient to inspire some written thoughts. However, you can put them into action!
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.
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