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Customer Excellence

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by

Palmyre Gaudoux

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Customer Excellence

By a Schindler Employee
By a Schindler employee
By a Schindler Employee
Attitude can turn one bad experience into a positive one
What's yours?
"Training and culture affect the perception of customer service."
"A better result may be achieved by attentiveness to individual expectations."
"I feel my current company is worth the extra money knowing that the have my back if I need them"
"In this day and age of fighting with customer service people and companies, I was surprised and happy to have such a positive experience"
I have been working for the past year on a large project with our Miami area office. I have gotten to know the region and made an effort to make the feel comfortable coming to me for help.

I also did extra work when needed to assist them with this project. My boss and two of my coworkers traveled to this office in June.

When they returned from their trip my coworkers told me that the region made several positive comments about my performance on their job.

This made me feel good about my work and I am looking forward to future projects with this office.

SATISFA
C
TION
TR
U
ST
PO
S
ITIVITY
CONVIC
T
ION
L
O
YALTY
COMMIT
M
ENT
FE
E
LING
EXPE
R
IENCE
Monday, July 28, 2014
$Free because you did it!
Vol XCIII, No. 311
"Customer experiences go a long way"
A positive experience
"This is how I feel when a customer is satisfied"
online but because he was so helpful and even told me that he would fix the bike for free in the event that anything happened, it was a no-brainer. I bought the bike there and brought it back to adjust a few things and he did it with a smile. Since he was so helpful, I referred a friend whom also purchased a bike at this store. Customer experiences go a long way.
Anger
Customer Excellence
By a Schindler Employee
"That day I realized not merely the meaning of customer service excellence but the crux of any human interaction - a charming smile and a readiness to always go the extra mile to do the right thing"
Leadership through Customer Service
Frustration
Anticipation
Hopeless
Focused
Hopeful
Frantic
Elation
Thankful
Self Gratified
"A harrowing but satisfying experience,
experiencing both terrible and excellent
customer service in the same event!
I ran the gambit of emotions…"
By a Schindler Employee
How great customer service can be ?!

The typical scenario of what is consider success:
- Someone chokes, coming up short under pressure
- Followed by really bad decisions, causing all hell to break loose
- Everyone is in panic but somehow one guy can stay focused
- Only due to dumb luck success is achieved
- Ignoring the dumb luck, kudos are given all around and celebrated
- But at the end of the day it still requires arm twisting to get paid
About a year ago I bought a bike at a local bike store. The gentleman who helped me was very helpful by first listening to why I wanted the bike and then asking a few questions. He showed me a few selections and helped me pick the right bike for me. I knew that buying the bike at the store would cost more than possibly buying it
By a Schindler employee
"The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply"
Cold and shivering in the middle of the night and lugging a pair of heavy suitcases, I was standing on an unfamiliar railway platform. My major concern was that I was traveling in a foreign country without a valid ticket. Nagging at the back of my mind was also the problem of how I was going to find my way to Birmingham! The enquiry / booking counter was closed and not a single soul I could reach out to for help or directions.
Just then the conductor got off the train after performing his end of the day's duty / closing tasks. Charming and smiling even after an arduous day's schedule, he was very helpful and extremely sympathetic to my predicament. He mentioned that I must have missed the signs posted in the compartment adding that it was not unusual for a foreigner travelling for the first time to do so. He helped me transfer my luggage to the opposite side of the platform, made sure that I boarded the right train leaving in an hour's time (good thing all the compartments were destined to go to Birmingham this time), told me not to worry and that the ticket I was holding was perfectly valid for the journey.
I could not thank the conductor of the train enough for his splendid gesture. That day I realized not merely the meaning of customer service excellence but the crux of any human interaction - a charming smile and a readiness to always go the extra mile to do the right thing. Today, when I get even a wee-bit frustrated with anything and anyone at all, I fondly recollect the example set by that English gentleman. I remind myself that I have a choice - either to emulate that train conductor or follow suit with the annoyed customer.

This happened way back in 1986 during my very first trip to England as a Visiting Scientist. I was traveling from London to Birmingham by train. I boarded the right train but little did I realize that I was in the wrong compartment. Somewhere along the way, my compartment and a few others were uncoupled from the main body of the train and got diverted to a different route. Sleepy and jet lagged, I got off the train when the final destination was announced.
By a Schindler employee
My Keurig was barely a year old (got it last summer for my shower) and it just stopped working one day. I called them up and they ran through a couple trouble shooting things with me. When that didn't work, they said ok, we'll ship out a new one to you. I had the new one the next day and they provided all the packaging for me to send back my old one free of charge. No questions, I didn't have to prove I bought it, nothing. And the lady on the phone was extremely nice and helpful. I have to be honest, I was a bit shocked at how easy it all was. In this day and age of fighting with customer service people and companies, I was surprised and happy to have such a positive experience. Even if this new one breaks again next summer, if they keep treating me like they did this past time, I'll keep buying from them.
By two Schindler employees
My son is a 4th grader who is going to start playing the trumpet in September. I went to a music school/store to find out information about buying or renting a trumpet. The manager was very nice and explained everything. He told me renting would be better in case my son decides he doesn’t want to continue playing but if he wants to continue, we have the option to buy the trumpet later on. I told him I would like my son to take a few lessons before school starts and he gave me a free lesson voucher. He also said that if we start renting it in August (so that he can take the lessons), he won’t start counting the rental period until September and we won’t be charged for the time my son uses it in August. He made me feel comfortable about it all. I also like that this place has good hours and the instructors are very flexible when scheduling the lessons.
"Our highest priority is satisfying our customers.
Except when it is hard... Or unprofitable...
Or we're busy..."
Many years ago I signed up to have my house exterminated 3 times / year. In that contract, the company guarantees I won't have any problems and will come back to exterminate again if I do.
I used the service for many years without any problems.
They reliably send me a notice a week before every service call, show up when they said they would, and perform the work described. However, one year I was hosting a large outdoor birthday party for my daughter. We rented a large bounce house and had a caterer. The morning of the birthday party, I discovered a large hornets’ nest in one of the upper gutters of the back yard. The hornets were all over the back yard and I could not reach this part of the house to exterminate the nest myself. If something was not done, the party would have been a disaster.

In a panic, I called up my exterminator company to see if they could help. I did not expect them to be of much help ... as I needed someone to handle this within a few hours and this is not covered under the contract. However, I was surprised when they said they would try. They had a technician out to my house within 2 hours who exterminated the nest and saved the party. I was told there was no charge for the service because I am a loyal customer of theirs.

Since .. I have looked at using other exterminators who seem to have slightly lower prices. However, I have never switched because I feel my current company is worth the extra money knowing that the have my back if I need them.

By a Schindler Employee
I bought a guitar at a Sam Ash store a few years back. I was still in High School and I had saved up all of my cash to buy myself a guitar. This was my hobby and by no means was I professional, but I was glad that the didn't treat me that way. While in the store the employee was very attentive and helpful. The true display of customer excellence was a week after I had bought my guitar. I received a phone call to make sure that everything was okay with the merchandise and that I was still content with it. That to me is going above and beyond to make the customer feel appreciated and it feels nice to not be look at just like a number, but a person who has chosen to spend their hard earned money at their store.

By a Schindler Employee
"A customer is the most important visitor on our promises. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so."
Mahatma Gandhi
"I feel it's a responsibility for anyone who breaks through a certain ceiling... to send the elevator back down and give others a helpful lift"
Here are two events that recently happened to me -- it shows how training and culture affect the perception of customer service.

I admit that I am picky about restaurant service. Having spent time in Europe, I really appreciate when a waiter/waitress is attentive to what you need, but never interrupts your personal conversation or asks you questions while you are chewing.

So, when I recently went to a local chain restaurant, I was a bit frustrated when the waitress twice swooped in while I was talking privately with my wife, or while chewing, slowed to about 5 mph, hit me with "Do you need anything?", then swooped out before I could really think about what she was saying. When the manager came by, I tried to express to him how these hit-and-run tactics made me feel, but he did seem to understand why I was unhappy. He reflexively explained that they try to make sure that we are satisfied. I got so frustrated, that I dismissed him with a hand wave, saying "I give up, I guess you will never understand."

A few days later, I was in another chain restaurant in the Poconos. My assigned waitress was polite, took her time to chat with us, and when returning, waited for a break before asking if we had everything we needed. She seemed to come from a whole different mindset. I felt respected and had a nice dinner.

Thinking about these experiences, it occurred to me that both restaurants thought that they were giving efficient and attentive service. Also, nobody else in the first restaurant seemed to be bothered by the style of service. I think that they were even happy to see frequent visits to their table. The difference was somehow in the cultural expectations.
The lesson? Maybe it is that not all customers want to be treated the same way. A standard formula for customer service may not always be a good choice. A better result may be achieved by attentiveness to individual expectations.

When ordering flowers for our Customer Excellence Module 2 classes, I realized I was making an atypical request that might take some special consideration. I wanted 200+ single stem daisies and I needed them in delivered within a few short days time. My first thought was to check some place that might be accustomed to large-volume orders with short time windows and reasonable pricing. I called 1-800-FLOWERS.

When I called 1-800-FLOWERS, the first person I reached seemed to have difficulty understanding my request. He offered on multiple occasions to place an order for various bouquets. I explained multiple times that bouquets would really be a wasted effort because I need to hand individual flowers to 200+ people and would only destroy any arrangement in the process. I asked if he had anything he could sell in single stem form of groups of flowers that did not come in bouquets. He offered to process an order of single stem roses for me. I explained that roses had a romantic implication I was not looking for and that I wanted a very cheerful but hardy flower. I suggested Gerbera daisies might suit my need. After being placed on a hold several times while he checked to see if that was possible with various levels of management, he did say they could make that happen and happen in time for our first class. I thanked him for his time and said that I would call back after decided how many flowers we needed each day and our cost had been approved.

When I called back I reached a different representative and briefly summarized for her my need and my prior conversation with the other representative. Instead of listening and understanding my need, she started from the beginning, replicating the same list of standardized questions that did not apply for my unique request. After repeating the entire conversation I had already had with the other representative she told me the only individual flowers I could order were roses and that because those arrangements are created in a warehouse, they would not arrive on time. I was a bit puzzled since these were details different from those I had received from the other representative. I asked her whether they could source the flowers from any combination of local florists with whom they partner. I was told that was not possible.

I ended my conversation with 1-800-FLOWERS and called a local florist, Flowers from Hannah. This was an incredibly different experience. The representative with whom I spoke, Mindy, listened very carefully to my needs without interrupting. She then repeated her understanding of my needs and told me exactly how she could meet them. She said she would deliver them on Sunday personally so I would have the flowers in time for the class. When I asked what her Sunday hours were, she told me the shop is technically closed but she did not want me to be concerned about the delivery. Mindy went above and beyond for me!

Mindy and Flowers from Hannah provided me with the result I wanted, which was the ideal. I got the flowers I ordered in timely fashion and they were beautiful. However, it was not the result that will make me call Flowers from Hannah again because I did, by the way, pay almost double for that wonderful result. Instead, it was the fantastic experience I had as a customer and I was happy to pay more for it. Mindy provided me with such an excellent customer experience that I would have called her back for my next order even if she had not been able to fulfill this one. The experience was just that good.

I do not fault 1-800-FLOWERS for not having the policies and delivery models to fulfill my order. Their policies and business model are different from Flowers from Hannah’s and made my request impossible for them to fulfill. Instead, it was their choice to not listen actively, their lack of concern for my needs and their failure to make the conversation feel at all personalized that made the process so frustrating. Even if they had been able to provide me with the result I was looking for, I still would hesitate to call them again and provide them with my time, energy and business.
Sometimes It Is Not About the Result, It Is the Experience
Full transcript