This is the view from my hotel window. I’m attending a training conference up in San francisco, CA. My view didn’t start out this way, in fact I was pretty disappointed when I finally made it to my room at the Marriott.
You see, I’ve come to expect a certain caliber of service and conditions when I stay at the Marriott. I am willing to pay the higher price because I know the quality I am going to get in return.
When I arrived, the first room they put me in had an odor I couldn’t live with. I made a call to the front desk and they immediately changed my room and sent up a bell man to help me make the switch. The second room, while smelling much better, had no view but that of the street below. I was disappointed.
The next morning I got up and ready to attend my first day of the training conference and wandered out into the hallway looking a bit lost at the elevators. I nice man in a suit asked me if he could help me find where I needed to go, I told him, and he offered to not just tell me but take me there. Now I’m sure he had about a million other things to do, but he made the time to help a guest… brownie point 1.
As we round the corner I caught my breath because this is the view from the window of the conference level of the hotel…
I said “wow that is beautiful, wish I could see that from my room”. That is all it took for this employee of the Marriott to say, oh are you staying with us tonight? I said, ‘yes two more nights”, he said I will see what I can do. At lunch time, the man came and found me and let me know to just go check at the front desk as they had a new room for me if I wanted to switch.
I happily made the switch and woke up to the view in the photos. Did this hotel have to do this for me? Nope, I would have paid my bill and walked away. By going the extra mile, not only did they turn a fairly disappointed customer into a very happy one, but I’m sharing the story with all of you! The moral of this story is:
Good customer service is not proven when everything goes right. It is when you have a less than pleased customer, something goes amiss, or you get the opportunity to answer incoming questions and offers, that you get to show you are a step above all the other sellers out there who are doing the bare minimum to get through the sale.
Read between the lines when those questions come in about an item. Sometimes the customer is simply trying to make sure a real person exists that will handle their transaction carefully. Always remember that for some, giving their payment information in an online format is still wrought with a lot of anxiety. Thirty seconds out of your day can put them at ease and help you get the sale.
I prefer to be like the Marriott as opposed to Motel 6. What I mean by that is that I ask for higher prices. I am setting a customer expectation that there is customer service standing behind that higher price. My customers don’t mind paying that higher price because they expect quality and care in the transaction and while I don’t have the opportunity to talk face to face with them, it comes through in my consistent template, friendly terms of service and extra value services such as Free Shipping and expedited shipping with a generous 30 day return policy. I make sure I convey that they are the #1 priority in the transaction, not my feedback or DSRs… those are a byproduct of all of the above.
The next time you get a question come through, or a buyer opens a claim, look at it with delight because it is an opportunity to dazzle them with your customer service! Welcome the chance to show them you are worth coming back to again and again!