No matter how great your product is but if you are not treating your customers the way they want to be treated, you could be losing more money than you actually realize. I’d like to share with you a bad experience I recently had and hopefully you get insights into what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.
A Bad Experience at Chicken and Waffles
I just attended the Podcast Movement in California. We went to this chicken and waffles restaurant. All of the outside chairs were stacked on top of each other on the table. So we figured we caught them at a bad time. But it’s lunchtime! Shouldn’t it be open? So we went to the front of the store and before we even went to the door to go in, somebody came out to greet us. Now the manager also came out and told us they only took two credit cards and cash at a table after seeing that were a party of seven. I understand when small organizations don’t have a POS system and maybe they’re afraid of the credit card transaction fees. But I go to food trucks and they carry credit card machines and are able t do all this stuff. We didn’t make a big deal out of it and got the food. I realized the manager was just old school and he wanted to do things his way.
You’re next to one of the biggest convention centers in the state of California. You’re right down the street from Disneyland. So the market is pretty huge. You probably get a lot of parties come in with more than one or two individuals. He should have realized it was probably time to upgrade to a process where they could take care of large parties. But the way he said is was the worst part. It was more of like he got annoyed we bothered him and so he didn’t want to serve us. We were so close to walking away but we were so hungry we got the food anyway. Imagine if we didn’t have cash. Most people didn’t have at that group and some of us did. So we were only able to do those two credit cards and the rest of us used cash. It worked out in this scenario. But imagine if we didn’t. We would have just walked away and that would have been $100 for him.
Are You Pushing Your Customers Away?
Just imagine how many people does this establishment push away before they even come inside of the restaurant? A lot of money is not going through the door. They’re probably saving money but they don’t realize how much they’re losing. They’re not giving the customers to come in and spend more money. They could have made double the amount of money they’re making but they didn’t give that opportunity for people to come inside. Pay whatever the credit card transaction fee is because you’re increasing the opportunities of gaining more loyal customers and people coming back to you over and over again.
Next, we had to fall in line to pay. And the manager once more told us to make sure we had cash. How frustrating that was. Worse, it took forever to pay because there was only one person taking the payment. They had an old school calculator. On top of this, we wanted to break up a $20 so we can give the people in our group change. One of my friends asked if we can get some change. The cashier said no and that we had to go back to our server.
My rating: Service sucked!
The food was great. The service was horrible. The attitude needed to go. We’re giving money. You have to be grateful for us. I’m not trying to be entitled. But make sure you treat us well.
Insights from this experience:
- Observe empathy.
This concept comes back to empathy. You need to think about your customers. The golden rule is to treat others the way you like to be treated. The platinum rule is to treat others the way they would like to be treated. The way customers like to be treated is for you to personalize it towards them. Speak to their needs.
- Work smarter, not harder.
Don’t just be there and use a calculator to calculate a cash. Give people an easy way to do business with you. Because we think about ourselves, we make it difficult for others to do business with us.
- Keep the customer in the loop.
Especially for long term sales cycles, give customers the updates. Let them know what’s next. Keep them informed. It’s a simple thing you can do to express your appreciation.
- Don’t see them as a number.
See your customer as someone you can build a strong relationship with and be loyal to. Don’t just connect with an individual to make money. Make real connections with those people.
Selling is Service, Serving is Selling
So here’s a YouTube video going around and they made an awful commercial. But if that’s the goal they’re trying to get, it worked. It went viral now!
Watch this video. Sure it’s crappy a video. But the message got across. Selling is service and service is selling. The concept is that when you give great customer service, you’re actually selling. And people will buy from you when you give them a great experience.
I also recommend that you read the book The Experience Economy and learn about how you can give great experience to your customers.
The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.
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