How To Applaud Good Service

How do you applaud good service?

Three tales from the customer service front.

Do you ever make the time to celebrate with your suppliers and customers?

Let's say, you seldom do this. That's a wrong answer!

Let's say, you do it several times a year - that's also a wrong answer.

On the other hand, if you're always looking for ways to applaud good service - you nailed it.

Let me explain:

I'm just back from a 12-day cruise in the southern Caribbean on the new ship Marina, of the Oceania line.

What's not to like? Basking in the sun, sipping margaritas, meeting interesting people and enjoying the finest cuisine everyday.

On a 1-10 scale I would rate our experience as a 11.5. Bernadette, my wife is writing a letter to Frank Del Rio who is the chairman and chief executive officer for the Oceania cruise line.

She will be heaping the praises on Lauren Clark, one of our servers, from South Africa. Bernadette plans to tell Frank about the positive experiences we had with Lauren.

Another tale.

While I'm on the subject of how to applaud good service, it reminds me of the dinner we had at the Beach Bistro restaurant on Anna Maria Island a few years ago. The dinner was a birthday gift from Bernadette.

The restaurant has an outstanding reputation and prices which reflect this. Because I was wearing black slacks, the server exchange my white napkin for a black one. It was a little thing and certainly a nice touch.

The dinner was excellent because I distinctly remember cleaning my plate. When the server asked about our dinner, I said jokingly, "I really didn't like it."

Without blinking he said, "Before we served it, we already took it off your bill."

How about that, a little humor mixed in with an extraordinary dining experience.

We rewarded this extraordinary experience with a very, and I mean very, generous gratuity.

One more tale.

As I was thinking about writing this newsletter I went through some old customer comments file and found an e-mail from Brad D.

At the time Brad was a sales representative who works out of his home office. For four years he used the same Pack and Send Store to send product samples to his customers.

He misplaced a receipt he needed for his expense report, so he went back to the store to ask for a copy of the lost receipt.

The person working the cash register found the receipt and made a copy for Brad.

The sales clerk then said, "That will be $.07 cents."

Brad of course was "Blown away." He didn't have any change on him, which meant he had to go out to his car to get some.

In his e-mail to me, Brad says he spends thousands of dollars every year shipping his product samples to his customers.

You woulda thunk- the sales clerk would've said "Don't worry about it, it's on us."

Naturally Brad Was upset and wrote a letter to the store's owner explaining what happened and also said he had paid his last visit to the Pack and Send Store.

Let's say Brad averaged $2500 a year shipping his samples to his customers. That's $25,000 over the span of the next 10 years plus all the people he had referred to the same store.

Talk about a stupido move. This belongs in neon lights up on a Marquee.

The Pack and Send Store's loss would become the Pack and Mail Store's gain.

Here's what I think. Always applaud good service. On the other hand, bad service deserves a penalty of sorts.

Here's my advice when it comes to customer service. Applaud good service every chance you get. And punish poor service vigorously too.

It doesn't take a lot to applaud good service.

You can call!

You can FAX!

You can email!

You can send a letter!

You can send a hand written note card!

For truly stupendous service you can even send a small gift!

Whenever you experience lousy customer service, you can utter the words made famous by Donald Trump, "You're fired!"

The more you applaud good good service, the more you'll get.

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