Memory is a funny thing. In the world of customer experience you would think that at the front of our mind would be the recall of a brilliant product, consistent delivery on time, or great value for money. But these things can form an amorphous halo rather than specific memories. What we remember are outstanding things and these can be both good and bad. Unfortunately, most of what we remember about customer service are disasters. Fortunately we also remember the little things that make a difference. This is important as it is these things that get shared and talked about.
Let’s deal with the disasters first. It doesn’t matter how well you have performed in the past; just one mistake can destroy the good memories in one fell swoop. In business “we are as good as our last meal”. We have to constantly perform well and do our very best to avoid failures. We have to always ensure that we get the right product, at the right price delivered to our customers at the right time. You will say that all this is obvious and it is. But it is worth remembering because complacency can cause things to slip.
There is an old saying that “it is the little things that matter”. They certainly matter to our memories. These little things are what we remember. When our car comes back from being serviced, we don’t look under the bonnet to check that the oil looks fresh on the dipstick. But we do notice and remember that the car has been valeted or that there is a handwritten note of thanks from the service engineer wishing us happy motoring over the next few months.
How do these little things happen? They don’t happen by accident. They are the result of a customer orientated company and such a company is made up of customer orientated people. It is why it is so critical to have the right people on board. And we don’t just mean having really nice people on the front line. It is just as important that people in production, finance, IT and supply chain are aligned to delivering great customer experience. They will ensure that the wheels of customer experience turn smoothly. And because their disposition is to be nice to customers, they will smile and say thank you. Trivial though these things may seem, they matter and they will be remembered.