In my experience, the advertising budget of many businesses should be rechanneled into staff training so that customers who use those businesses are wowed by their experience and ultimately become fans and ambassadors for those businesses.
This story relates to a hotel brand, which hooked me in with their marketing. To woo me as a customer cost them money – but how good were they at ensuring they kept me?
Scene: A hotel in Leeds. Julian O’Dell, managing director of TM training & development arrives after a long drive to run a training session for a group of 30 delegates. He arrives an hour before start time to get the room set up. On entering Reception, he sees a board on the wall informing him that the TM training & development session is being held in Meeting Room 7. Armed with this information, he approaches the Reception Desk…
Me: “Hello. My name is Julian O’Dell from TM training & development. I’m running a course today. Please could I have the key for meeting room 7?”
Receptionist sighs. Shuffles some paperwork. Disappears through a door behind reception. Returns with plastic key card – inserts it into machine and hands it to me. All this without saying a word.
Me: “Thank you.”
I then walk to meeting room 7. A two minute walk carrying various files and equipment. The key doesn’t work.
I walk back to reception. The same two minute walk carrying the same equipment.
Me: “Excuse me, but this key isn’t working…”
Receptionist: “It should work.”
Me: “I’m afraid it doesn’t.”
She printed and handed over another key without any further comment.
I then walk to meeting room 7 again. Another two minute walk carrying the same various files and equipment. The key doesn’t work. Again.
I walk back to reception. Again. The same two minute walk carrying the same equipment.
Me: “Still not working I’m afraid.”
Receptionist (with a sigh and a frown): “I could give you another one.”
Me: “A sorry would be nice…”
Receptionist: “It isn’t my fault it’s not working.”
Me: “Well I’m the customer, and it certainly isn’t mine…”
…of both the exchange between me and receptionist, as well as the end of any chance of my company dealing with that hotel again.
The moral of the story?
By all means spend money to promote your brand but set some aside to train your staff in the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to ensure that the customer experience is above expectation and turns them into fans of your business. Get in touch if you would like to discuss one of our “Exceptional Customer Service” sessions for your team – they are worth every penny!