Are you memorable?

I just got back from a cool night out at the new Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City.   We had a chance to visit the newly opened Vinino’s Restaurant, hear from the Cordish Group on the approach / philosophy on marketing for the district.  We also had a chance to take a 4 or 5 block tour of the district with a preview of what attractions are coming in in the next few months.

Overall it was extremely impressive and I think everyone should be really excited about the potential for downtown Kansas City.  They are truly building a top notch destination that everyone is going to enjoy and be proud of.  There’s going to be a really interesting mix of events, venues and destinations that should make it a fun place to visit often.

The event was setup through the American Club Association – a networking group that I’m in, and it was well done, with over 200 members and guests checking out the scene.

After the tour we went next door to the Sports Bar McFadden’s for a late dinner.  This is another good concept that is going to be extremely popular, especially during events like the Big 12 tournament! 

During dinner, the one thing that stood out – not as a big deal, but enough to generate some discussion, was the somewhat sullen attitude of our server for dinner.  She was professional and did the minimum of what she needed to do but she never smiled and never engaged us in any way.

Contrast that to a fantastic, new, high energy venue that already had everyone talking and ready to enjoy themselves.

Customer Service is hard.  It’s hard to do well and it’s even harder to instill and manage in people that work for you.

Customer Service is critical.  We saw a lot of amazing things, but what did we talk about for several minutes on the ride home?  Our glum server that really didn’t want to be working tonight.

As a business owner – assuming you have customers (if not you have other issues) you have several chances to make that interaction memorable…or several chances to make it forgettable or even unpleasant.

Happy customers tell other people good things about you.

Unhappy customers tell even more people bad things about you.

Here are some thoughts on things you can do to improve your Customer’s Experience and make it memorable – for the right reasons!

  1. Identify and script your customer touch points.  If you want to set a consistent impression for customers calling your business, write down what you want people to say and make sure that anyone that answers the phone knows the drill.  Keep it simple, sincere and congruent to your companies values.
  2. Brainstorm potential occurrences or events ahead of time and draft up policies to handle those situations.  If you’re temporarily out of widgets, make sure there’s a consistent and clear message delivered to those customers that want widgets.
  3. Hire for attitude, train for aptitude.  If you have someone whose job is to interact regularly with customers, make sure they like to talk to people and enjoy being around people.  It takes time and more extensive interviewing techniques to figure that sort of thing out, but it’s well worth it in the long run.
  4. Compensate for customer satisfaction.  In food service operations this is generally taken care of by customer tipping, but the same type of approach can be implemented in any operation if you can find a way to reasonably measure customer satisfaction (or dis-satisfaction).

It was a memorable evening, but once the shiny newness wears off, customers will need a reason to come back and visit and that’s where the interactions with employees can make a huge difference.

Do you have any stories or thoughts on great Customer Service?  Share them here.

Shawn Kinkade