I drive my wife crazy sometimes. One of my pet peeve’s when we travel or dine out is to carefully observe the service experience. As the owner of a couple of service businesses, I’ve always found it ironic that many of my competitors failed when it came to delivering service. Frankly, I was always glad they did. It lowered the competitive bar, and created vulnerability and opportunity we exploited!
I’m always shocked at how businesses that thrive or fail on customer experience can become so blind to who the customer is. Systems, processes, corporate bureaucracy, etc., often become bottlenecks or roadblocks to optimal service experiences.
Ken Blanchard, one of my favorite authors of all time, also shared his disdain for poor customer service. One of the metaphors he would share was the “Quack Quack!” often heard from the customer facing individual or manager who had lost sight of who the customer was OR were confined by a manager, policy, or process, in the delivery system.
A recent experience involved the lodging arrangements I booked online for my wife and adult aged daughter. Upon arrival, they discovered that they were to share a single bed because the reservation system booked them as “two adults.” Though the hotel was less than 50% occupied, the service agent refused to move them to a room with two beds and accommodate their request. “Quack Quack!” Was it training? Was it a true system constraint? Whatever the case, it was a customer service fail. Boy did they hear about it on Trip Advisor!
Where might a customer hear “Quack Quack!” in your service delivery or customer facing areas? Do you have a “Quack Quack!” recognition methodology? Does your training system have a “Quack Quack!” detector?
If not, perhaps you need to appoint a new duck commander or identify a customer experience officer with a handy duck call!