One More Thing...
Lieutenant ‘Frank’ Columbo, played by the enigmatic Peter Falk for over 30 years, is the eponymous main character in an American detective show. A shrewd, but inelegant homicide detective, whose absent-minded manner, rumpled beige raincoat, and cigar were off-putting. All of which lulled his suspects into a false sense of security. But it was a relentless inquiry that got results, with discussions invariably leading to his famous catchphrase ‘and just one more thing’, before he landed the bombshell question and caught the guilty party off guard.
At this point, you are probably thinking about where is this week’s newsletter heading next. Well, there is a very tenuous link to a customer service experience that a friend shared after a recent trip overseas. Let me explain. He and his wife regularly stay at the same hotel when visiting this particular destination. On this occasion, the newly appointed manager realised they were recurring guests and checked in to see if everything was to their liking. And as always, it was. Most people would have accepted this positive feedback and gotten on with their day. But what followed was a Columbo-Esque response delivered with deep curiosity, “That’s great to hear. There must be one thing we could improve though?’
In a world where negative reviews, feedback, and comments are easy to deliver, often the customer adds ‘and one more thing...’ Making it easy to get caught up in the emotion of the situation and react rather than respond to only the disappointing experiences. But, like the hotel manager, taking the time to seek feedback from your raving fans is next-level customer service. It recognises that 5-star experiences might not be perfect and allows access to a level of detail that may not manifest in a 1-star review or complaint.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you ignore the bad stuff and only focus on the good. After all, consistent bad feedback may suggest something is fundamentally wrong with your organisation that needs addressing. What I am advocating is having conversations with everyone who takes the time to share their experiences. By providing the time and space to facilitate sharing all the information you can then act on it and improve your business.
Sometimes these interactions are not easy and employees feel uncomfortable during them. Even when the message is good! Here is a five-step approach that can help when speaking to customers or guests. And it works in both positive and negative situations.
Introduction - Explain who you are, why you are calling, and ask if now is a good time to talk
Gather Information - All you need is this simple phrase ‘Tell me about your experience?’
Gather More Information - Ask if there is anything else they want to add
Recognition - Thank them for their time and feedback. And now is always a good time to double-check if there was anything else to add
Take Responsibility - Explain what you will do next with the feedback
Increased pressure on disposable income makes the commercial landscape never more challenging. Customer experience is the way to differentiate your business from the competition. Use the insight from the people who buy with you, with those highly-satisfied customers helping develop the next-level service for your business. Over the coming weeks, ask yourself the following questions.
How often are you following up with your customers, guests, or clients who have an amazing experience?
Why are they choosing to buy from, visit, or engage with your business?
What changes would you make based on the feedback?
I will be intrigued by the answers.
Oh…and just one more thing.
Have a brilliant week!
Founder & CEO, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd