Put the Customer Ahead of Customer Service Checklist

Putting the Customer Ahead of the Customer Service Checklist

As managers and owners, we have to take care that the systems we put in place to manage and ensure great customer experiences do not create robotic procedures that can be counter to the very experiences we are trying to create.

In the post Customer Service Training: Principles Trump Procedures, I told the story of a fast casual employee whose stubborn insistence on taking my food to the table for me took a great customer service process and turned it into something more negative than positive. Why? Because it seemed like the employee had to perform the task, whether it added value or not.

I recently had an experience with AAA, the roadside assistance company, where I experienced a similar interaction regarding what seemed like the rote following of a customer service procedure.

Now, I mention AAA by name only because the total customer experience I had with the company was amazing! A 99 out of 100. And though this post might be dedicated to the “point they missed,” my experience with AAA was superlative from start to finish.

First, here’s a quick rundown of some of the excellent touchpoints in my experience with AAA: Read More

The Ritz-Carlton's Famous $2,000 Rule | Customer Lifetime Value | Bell Desk

The Ritz-Carlton’s Famous $2,000 Rule

The Ritz-Carlton's Famous $2,000 Rule | Customer Lifetime Value | Bell Desk

How much would you empower your employees to serve your customers? The Ritz-Carlton has put a number to that very question.

If you’re one of their customers, the good news is that…

The Ritz-Carlton Will Spend $2,000 To Make You Happy

Known as one of the gold standards of customer service, the Ritz Carlton has been rightly studied and dissected over the years in an attempt to find the “secret” Ritz sauce. Entire books have been written just on the Ritz’s customer service.

One aspect of the Ritz’s service that has received a lot of coverage is the fact that the Ritz empowers its employees to spend up to $2,000 to solve customer problems without asking for a manager. Yes, you read that right, Ritz-Carlton employees can spend up to $2,000 per incident, not per year, to rescue a guest experience.

What is interesting about this famous number is that the majority of authors who mention it leave out an equally vital statistic. You see, the $2,000 is always mentioned in the context of how important employee empowerment is to great customer service — as if empowering employees to excess is the key to a profitable and successful business. Read more