I recently made a decision to travel abroad to a country that I had never any intention of visiting, namely Bali. For me Bali conjured images of Bintang beer (with stylish matching tank tops), bogans and hard selling at market stalls. Well it is safe to say that while elements of this still exist within the bustling streets of Seminyak, it was the sheer beauty of Bali that shamed my previous opinions.
Now admittedly I was staying at a lovely resort, however what was very evident to me – apart from the schism of opulent wealth versus abject poverty – was a culture that irrespective of social status everyone appeared to share the singular objective of great customer service. I would even extend that view to the numerous street sellers (if you can call them that) offering a selection of prescription and non-prescription drugs.
The customer service was almost as striking as the weather, scenery and sunsets. A opportunistic discussion one evening with the marketing manager at the hotel I was staying in was enlightening to say the least. Here was a woman who grew up in Jakarta, worked and studied hard, so much so she got a scholarship in Paris to study for 3 years, later returning to Bali with the very clear agenda to ensure success in the market for her current employer. Now all of this is impressive in itself but it was our conversation around customer service that struck me the most. On checking in to the hotel a member of the hotel staff commented that the room smelt smoky. To be completely honest I didn’t notice it however within the space of 5 mins another member of staff turned up with a deodoriser for the room and the offer to relocate. I had much delight in sharing my experience with the marketing manager, only to have her respond in a simple and unwavering manner: “Scott, nothing less than perfection will do for us.”
Having worked in healthcare – a service industry in itself – for nearly all of my working life, it struck me how this simple statement is sadly overlooked by many health institutions when service gets derailed by political or union agendas or caught up in over regulation. All that aside, these should never distract us from the task of providing the best consumer experience. One of the highlights of my role is receiving letters and feedback forms from patients and residents recounting what they often refer to as the little things that made the biggest difference to their stay, whether that be a smile, an offer of assistance or remembering their partners name.
So, ask yourself the question how you are helping to define your organisation’s legacy in customer service and remember that…
“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”