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Customer Service : Of saxophones, robots and waiting lines


Extract: Of Saxophones, Robots and Queues: using stories to build customer service superiority.

We have found in our work with corporations that the medium of story is the way to open up meaningful conversations about making service improvement along the service-profit-chain and that the process short-cuts lengthy, difficult implementation. Customer service is about technology, business processes and people. Here are a few conversations triggered by story.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group are noted for their superior, warm and efficient service. They are driven by a clear customer service credo and well-defined service values. People selection, business processes and supporting technology are designed to anticipate customer requirements, and to ensure that service breakdowns are quickly recovered.
I had only one hour to spare between the end of a conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Atlanta, USA - and leaving for the airport. I was keen to buy a saxophone. I casually mentioned this to the receptionist at lunch time. By the close of the conference she had organized my checkout and on her own initiative, arranged for three music stores to remain open in case I called, given me clear directions, and arranged transport.
Not only did she go the extra mile to facilitate my purchase, I’m sure that my details on their database will elicit a follow–up inquiry the next time I stay there. And I will. I changed from being just another customer to an advocate that recommends them to others whenever possible. My experience was a function of an empowered, trained staff member having the right service motive. This is what customer experience management is all about.


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