Today I had a 9am call with one of our biggest clients. It is a huge time for them and so I made myself available to ensure all questions could be addressed and we could participate in their big week.
A huge part of delivering a great service is establishing a great relationship. This involves truly understanding what is important to your client, helping them through the tough times and lifting them up and celebrating the good times.
I’d like to illustrate the delivery of this to you from an experience I had last week. Tuesday was our second wedding anniversary and I booked a table for two at the newly opened Earle in Hale. I booked online and left a comment along the lines of: “It is our wedding anniversary, my wife is pregnant, we have a gift voucher and it’s a bank holiday – hooray!”
The restaurant was clean and there was nice ambient vibe with a nice level of sound. Tick. The hostess or waitress was well turned out and delightfully polite as we were seated. Tick. The menu wasn’t overly complicated; in fact it was clearly presented a sensible set of options and at a reasonable price. Tick. So far so good. A quick trip to the toilet and that too was super clean and nicely decorated with a decent hand blower that actually dries your hands. Tick.
Suddenly a platter of starters arrives with a beautiful smile and ‘happy anniversary’. Wow. This is a nice touch and it is well presented. I love to see the care and attention put into delivery. After all, the first bite is with the eye.
We order and eat two courses and are too full for a desert. However, as we ask for the bill out pops another platter. This time it consists of mini deserts with happy anniversary written in chocolate encasing the plate and candle firing sparks in the middle. Wow. They surprised us with a second hit of generosity.
The food was great, the service was great and the special touches were completely unexpected and also great. When I purchase a product or service this is the consistency I look for.
When we at UKFast are building and improving our services and the processes that deliver them we apply the same level of expectation to ourselves.
The restaurant could have done a couple of extra things to really have delivered a world class experience. The staff could have asked us about our wedding and anniversary without being too invasive. A genuine desire to discuss it and build a rapport is essential to having a great relationship and this was missing. How many years has it been? Ah you look great together – when did you first meet? Perhaps at the end of the meal a comments-card to seek feedback on the service.
A great experience that I will share with my friends, from which I came away remembering that a genuine interest and great friendly questions lead to a better understanding of your clients are a huge part of world class service. Everyone can discount and give away things but you can’t walk into a shop and ask the price of friendship and understanding.