Customers Love This

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

“One green tea latte please,” my friend ordered.  The barista of Starbucks was taken aback, “Sir we do not offer green tea latte…” but before ending his statement, he was able to regain composure, “…but I can make that for you.”

My friend knew that Starbucks did not serve tea latte then.  This was a few years back. I really do not know his purpose of ordering a drink that was not in the menu.  It could either be: (1) he really wants a tea latte or, (2) he was testing the service.

Perhaps in that split second of a pause this thought raced in the barista’s mind, “Wait! A tea latte is only tea with milk.  He wants green tea latte.  We serve green tea!  We also have milk.  In fact, we have different types of milk: steamed, non-fat, full cream and regular.  I’ll say yes to this customer.”

Or, that scenario was part of their training before they became baristas.  For my friend, it did not matter.  The important thing was he got his tea latte.  This barista found a way to satisfy his customer.

I recently planned to finalize a deal.  A small group of entrepreneurs wanted to buy my company’s name.  We agreed on a price.  My business partner and I wanted to turnover the documents of transfer and receive the payment in one of our depository banks, so we can immediately deposit the payment to our account.  My partner was passing by HSBC a few days prior to payment day.  She decided to enter the bank and asked permission for the use of a cubicle for our transaction.  The officer said, “We do not offer that service but we can accommodate your request.  You may use one of the cubicles.”

Came transaction day.  We breezed through the deal in 30 minutes.  The HSBC team in the Discovery Suites branch were so accommodating from start to finish. Everybody was happy especially my buyers.

I love great service.  Customers love great service.  In the two cases I mentioned above, I felt that these companies made their customers feel special.  Come to think of it, the extra mile was very simple.  But the service was personal and they delivered what was “officially” not there.

They did not have to post on their walls, “We find ways,” they were living it.  Even if you post, “We find ways,” or something like it, in the walls of every branch, if your people are not trained to “find ways,” it means nothing, or worse.

If you want your company to mean something to your customers, make them feel that they mean a lot to you.

© Ed Pilapil Jr.  2010

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