By Shep Hyken
I recently wrote about taking the extra step to deliver amazing service. There were three steps: pay attention, care about your customers and put forth extra effort.
For this article, I want to focus on the first step—paying attention.
Paying attention is more than just the first step. It may be the most important step. One of our readers, Scott Anderson, shared a story about staying at a resort in Mexico. The porter followed Scott and his wife to the room with their luggage. Scott mentioned to his wife how much he would love a Dr. Pepper. (Funny… Dr. Pepper was in the example of the aforementioned article.) He didn’t ask the porter for a Dr. Pepper, nor did he think the porter was paying attention to what they were talking about. He wasn’t even sure if the porter spoke English. They hit the beach that afternoon and when they returned to their room, the mini-fridge was stocked with Dr. Pepper!
That reminded me of something similar. I was staying at a hotel that had an executive lounge. One of the “treats” they put out in the evening was the most delicious chocolate cookies I may have ever eaten. They were almost like a fudge brownie but in the shape of an oversized cookie. One word to describe them, other than amazing… DELICIOUS—in all caps!
One night, I commented on the cookies to the server in the lounge. She smiled and said, “Thank you.” When I was leaving the hotel the next day, the front desk clerk said, “We have a package for you.” It was a bag with half a dozen chocolate cookies inside!
The server in the lounge did more than just acknowledge my comment. She truly listened. Beyond that, she paid attention and took action on that one little piece of information that put an exclamation point on an already great experience.
Paying attention can help you find opportunities to create higher levels of customer amazement. My definition of “customer amazement” is to be better than average all the time. Typically, you just need to be a little better than average. Once in a while, an opportunity to truly WOW a customer “falls in your lap.” That comes from paying attention. You must not only hear what customers say, but you must also listen and take action. That’s when opportunities to soar way above expectations occur.
Whenever we do business with a person or company, we expect to be treated well. If all goes the way it should, it’s easy. When there’s a problem, it’s an opportunity to not only fix it, but restore confidence. When you add in a little something extra—because you paid attention to the customer—that’s when they say, “Wow!
You can’t WOW the customer every time. It’s impossible to do so. However, being amazing is possible. Just focus on a predictable and consistent above-average experience. While doing that, pay attention. That’s where you’ll find those opportunities to take amazement to the next level!