Saturday night I went out to a new bar to play pool. I’m no pool shark, but enjoy a good game and watching the strategies of others. Within the first ten minutes, it became clear that the hall was short-staffed, and there was some confusion among the employees about who would be doing what. It was slightly annoying, but no sooner had we picked up on the problem than the manager came over to each table, apologized, took responsibility, and said our games of pool for the night were on her. Thank you Flat Top Johnny’s!
It was in that moment of appreciation that it occurred to me, customer service has become a dying art. In high-school and college I worked various retail jobs, each very well managed and operated, but the concept of “the customer is always right” had become something of the past, and no longer a central part of the business model. In the age where companies are going bankrupt before they open the doors, we have become so obsessed with the bottom line that we seem to have forgotten who can get us into the black – the customers!
Human interaction is at a minimum, with nearly anything imaginable accessible online. Still, that doesn’t meant that customers don’t deserve to be treated like people. Each visitor metric on your Google Analytics is a person or a group of people, and don’t lose sight of that. Treating visitors like people is core to establishing credibility and trust online.
I was reminded of this again last night as my roommate and I perused GrubHub.com for something to order for dinner. A local delivery place we both liked had taken their menu off GrubHub for some reason, and we were debating whether or not to call them directly (they deliver too) or to order through GrubHub from a different place. The deciding factor came down to the past customer service my roommate had received from GrubHub. A few weeks ago, she had ordered food through GrubHub and her order was an hour later than the delivery time GrubHub had given her. She went onto GrubHub and used their live chat tool to explain her situation. Not only did they track down her food and give her an accurate delivery time, but they issued her a $10 credit to her GrubHub account because of the inconvenience she had experienced. We ordered through GrubHub from a different restaurant, and found a place we liked even better to boot! Good for GrubHub, good for the restaurant and good for us.
It wasn’t GrubHub’s fault the delivery was delayed, but they rightly recognized my roommate’s business with them was in jeopardy, and took responsibility for their partner’s flub by doing what was within their power to make her feel better. And it wasn’t the manager’s fault that some of her waitstaff had confused their schedules, but she too took responsibility for her staff’s flub, and did what was within her power to make the customer feel appreciated. These cases highlight business that treat their customers like people, not like just another visitor metric, and sometimes that makes all the difference. Do you need help seeing the visitors through your metrics, and learning to treat your customers according to their preferences? Contact us now and let us show you the way…