Drained and hungry after a flight from Florida Philadelphia, Dawnna St. Louisand I decided to get something to eat at one of the airport restaurants. :We decided to eat at Legal Sea Foods. I ordered soup and salad. When: the server, Edwin, brought our food I noticed that the salad did not have cranberries. I really thought cranberries will add a nice flavor to the salad.
I asked Edwin if they had cranberries. He said he would check. It was about 6-8 minutes before he reappeared with the cranberries. Pleasantly surprised, I told him I thought that they didn’t have it, because it took a while for him to get back. Edwin said: “We don’t. I went around to the Chinese restaurant to get them. I knew they have them.”
Wow! Dawnna and I were so impressed by this. Edwin could have simply said: “No, we don’t have them,” and continue on with his day. But he didn’t. Edwin provided superior customer service by going out of his way to give me with what I wanted. You know that earned him a great tip.
Now, you may say that this was not so significant. It was a small gesture and he was doing it for tips. For me, it was a big gesture. One that left me with a great impression not only of Edwin but of Legal Seafood. I will definitely visit the establishment again.
Edwin’s actions is a great example of the way customer service will win you new clients. As an entrepreneur, you cannot discount the value of providing your clients with the best customer service that you can. Here are some tips I gathered from my experience with Edwin:
- Listen to your clients: Take the time to hear what challenges your client is facing, or what he or she wants. When people know that you are truly listening to them, they know you care. Therefore, they are more apt to do business with you.
- No shouldn’t be the first answer: Before you say “No,” think of the issue your client is experiencing or what they want. Is there a solution that you can provide that will not cost you a lot of money, time and significant effort to provide it? By providing the solution, does it bring greater dividend in the long run? If so, go ahead and deliver it.
- Let them know what you did: This one may not feel right to everyone, but I learned early in my corporate career that sometimes you have to do this. How will they know that you care enough to give them this special service, if you don’t tell them? It is similar to telling your manager what you did to deserve a raise or a promotion.
- Don’t discount the Power of Great Customer Service: More than likely you have experienced good and bad customer service. Lately, it seems that the latter occurs more often than the former. Ensure that your company is delivery customer service that your clients are willing to tell people about it and recommend your company.
- Provide the proper customer service training: Lack of proper customer service training for your employees can kill your business. I have seen it often enough. You may save money up front by not paying for training, but you will lose much more if your staff doesn’t know how to provide your clients with good customer service.
Lesson learned: Superior Customer Service = Happy Clients = Revenue Growth.
Upon leaving the restaurant, I asked Edwin if the restaurant had a Tweeter account. I told him I wanted to send out a tweet about how impressed I was by his service. He said he didn’t know if they did, but he was so happy I was pleased with his service. He raised his hands above his head, pumped his fists and chanted: “Edwin, Edwin, Edwin.” Dawnna and I had no choice but to laugh. Edwin’s gesture made me feel that I had truly entered the City of Brotherly Love. What a great way to start our business trip on a hight note.
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Marlene M. Bryan is a Distinguished Toastmaster, DTM. She is a certified speaker and leader by Toastmasters International. She is currently the District 47 Public Relations Officer, and leader of the Public Relations Team. She provides her services to over 3800 members throughout the district. Marlene is the owner of Marlene M. Bryan, Corp and Small Biz Evolution, LLC. She is a Speaker, an Author and a Business Coach.