We have written in some earlier blogs about what we are learning about the importance of the individual when delivering great customer service (thedanielgroup.com/blog/). Our research shows that customers who call out an employee or group of people for doing a “Good Job” during a service experience rate their experiences much more positively than those who do not.
While having great processes and the latest technology are important to delivering positively memorable service, what matters most is having engaged employees who genuinely wish to serve customers the best way possible. This weekend while traveling in New York this point was driven home.
My wife and I stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in New York City. The hotel was clean and well appointed. Our room, though small (it is NYC, after all) was well maintained and clean. The breakfast was quite good. These superlatives are largely the result of having really good processes in place to make sure the hotel was clean and the food was tasty. What really made this great experience positively memorable were the employees. To a person, they were friendly, welcoming and very helpful. We felt they seemed to genuinely care that (1) we chose their hotel and (2) that our stay be comfortable and pleasant.
Too often managers fall into the trap of seeking another, and better, process as a way to improve customer service. Remember, processes, including technology, are supports that help someone deliver positively memorable service. An innovative process or new technology is only as good as the person implementing it. Delivering great customer service is still a very human undertaking. Don’t overlook the human as you work to improve your service.