You are Never Too Important to Please the Customers!

Today, we welcome a special guest blogger.  Bill Hinderer is President and Chief Operating Officer of Tacony Corporation.  He writes:

Two events this past weekend drove home to me that there are
little ways to make lasting impressions with your customers.

Ken Tacony, Amy, and I
attended the Lighting Show in Dallas
last Friday. Our Regency Fan division
has a permanent showroom in the World
Trade Center
and we spent the day visiting with customers as they came in with their sales
reps to look at our new fans.

Not surprisingly, one of the most popular places in the
showroom is the bar area (although Diet Coke may have been the most popular
drink). Without a designated bartender,
everyone just sort of takes turns serving the customers. Of course, that includes Ken. On being introduced to their CEO / Bartender,
more than one customer commented that the willingness of the chief executive to
work the bar is a further illustration of what sets Regency apart from the
competition — caring customer service. It didn’t cost anything extra to make a great impression.

On the flight back to St. Louis,
we saw another example. We flew
Southwest Airlines from Love Field in Dallas
to St. Louis. The people at Southwest like to have fun, so
occasionally they recruit passengers to help them pass out snacks during the
flight. Sure enough, I looked up and saw
an older gentlemen coming down the aisle with the snacks. However, I immediately recognized that this
was not any passenger, but was Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines. As he offered peanuts to everyone (“Would you
like those rare or well done?”), it was obvious that he was having a good
time. Needless to say, the flight
attendants were really impressed that their company founder was helping
them. The customers loved it, even
though no announcement was ever made of who this guy was. (The news did spread throughout the
cabin.) We later learned that also on
board were a group of the newest Southwest employees flying to St. Louis for their initial orientation.  What an impression it must have had on them!

So, although it’s true that we have to find ways to spend
more time “on our business” rather than “in our business” to set strategy and
plan for the future, we can’t forget the importance of showing the customer
that we really care for them and are willing to do whatever they need us to
do. Even serving drinks or peanuts!

(Does anyone have any other stories of unexpected caring
customer service to share?)

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