Details Matter in Customer Experience
Experts say we are not supposed to sweat the small stuff in life, but lately I have been surprised by my experiences with several businesses and their lack of attention to detail.
Most of the time when I visit a restaurant, the service is satisfactory. I was baffled by a recent visit to a local restaurant that offered a new smaller portion menu (side note: I’m very happy for the small portion menus as I could use the portion control help!).
I placed my order, and after about 10 minutes the waitress came back and said that the item I wanted couldn’t be served because they did not have the special martini glasses they were supposed to serve it in. My response to this was, “Can’t you serve it on a regular plate?” This seemed like a logical thing to me. The waitress then told me that the restaurant’s General Manager said they had to stick to exactly how the item was listed on the menu. No exceptions. Huh? To me, this made no sense. Especially since there was not a picture of the item I ordered in the menu. I didn’t even know it was supposed to be served in a martini glass and honestly, would have found it easier to eat off a plate. Seems to me this restaurant has focused on the wrong detail here – what about making the customer happy?
During a recent trip to Northern Wisconsin, we stayed at a hotel & resort that was very nice for the area. We were interested in seeing what was going on that weekend, so we looked at the hotel information “binder” in our room expecting to find that information in there. We did find what was “happening” in the area – last June! Luckily, the front desk was able to help us. Hmm, seems like an important detail was overlooked here as well.
When I ordered take-out at a new, local restaurant a few weeks ago, I had to search in several places before I found the phone number for this new restaurant because it was not on their web site. When we picked up our order, I brought it to the attention of the waitress as a helpful note. I recently checked their web site and there still is no phone number listed. Guess my tip didn’t reach the right person.
Don’t Overlook Key Details!
Sure details can get missed from time to time. We are all human. However, we have to make sure we take a step back and look at our organizations through our customers’ point of view. Small details can annoy your customers and turn into negative word of mouth. It used to be said that unsatisfied customers tell five other people about negative experiences. With the use of social media today, one person can easily tell thousands. Bruce Temkin from Forrester shared some new research in his customer experience blog on a study that was conducted with 4,500 individuals and how they share experiences with others. It is something that is definitely worth checking out.
When people are vocal about bad experiences with your company or organization, it is great opportunity to learn, make things right, and engage with your customers. To learn about these experiences in social media or the Web, have you set up tools to track mentions of your business/organization? If not, you can learn more about this in an upcoming blog post.
Susan Schoultz is Client Service Director at Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve2.