Monthly Mash and A Customer Service Exception

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Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 27: January 2014

Thoughts on the Customer: A Customer Service Exception

For the first time, I am passing the baton for our Thoughts on the Customer section. This month’s “thoughts” are from Donna Gurnic, our Market Development Coordinator here at CTS Service Solutions. Enjoy!

A customer’s experience is not always determined by the customer service they receive.

At its core, customer experience is simple: provide an effortless, enjoyable and consistent experience, and the majority of your customers will want to return. However, there are instances where service and experience diverge, and a business can thrive despite relatively poor service.

Such is the case for a diner where my Mom and I recently ate brunch. Neither of us knew much about the place, but we had both heard good things about it.

When we arrived, the greeter told us there was a brunch show at noon. However, this was no ordinary brunch show; it was a drag show. Since it was only about 11:15, we figured we’d stay for at least one act.

Where Experience and Service Diverge

Monthly Mash | Dirty Air ConditionerWe were seated in a corner, right next to an extremely dusty air conditioning unit. I’m not sure when the last time the unit had been cleaned. I was grossed out and kept imagining clumps of greasy dust floating onto my hash browns.

Then, my coffee arrived in a mug that seemingly hadn’t been cleaned in some time. I wiped the mouth clean, but after being grossed out by the dust, I eventually asked for different mug.

Shortly after, our food arrived. I ordered a standard plate of eggs, hash browns and bacon — a classic breakfast that most restaurants easily master. Not this restaurant. Everything on the plate was either undercooked, overcooked or hardly seasoned.

Our server seemed distracted and made several extra trips to the table to bring items that had been forgotten the first time around. It became clear that the focus of the Sunday brunch was not serving customers.

Why The Service Didn’t Matter

Once the show started, we couldn’t have been pried from our seats. The music, the costumes, and the energy were incredibly entertaining. Everyone was having a blast — including a particularly engaged bachelorette party. I even spotted a pair of older patrons (with no prior knowledge of the show) bobbing their heads to the music. It was just pure, jaw-dropping fun.

We paid the tab, despite the fact I hardly touched my meal, but neither of us could have cared less that the service, the food, and the sanitation were poor.

While this isn’t common in food establishments, the reason customers come back to this diner is not because they have world-famous food or fantastic service but because of the experience they get from a place that offers something out of the ordinary. For my mom and I, we will only have great memories from our surprise Sunday brunch.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

We often discuss the attributes and qualifications that customer-facing employees should have. This month, we created an infographic that highlights all of the crucial traits in one place. Check out Anatomy of a Customer Service Professional (Infographic) , and let us know which elements you think are the most important.

About 

By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is a Customer Experience Strategist, franchise developer, and small business owner who runs the popular blog Customers That Stick. He is a customer experience speaker and the author of a forthcoming book on frontline customer service (AMACOM, Spring 2015). Adam’s ebook 7 Secret Customer Service Techniques Every Expert Knows has been downloaded in over 100 countries.

    Find more about me on:
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