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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A simple idea to enhance customer experiences

It’s one thing to disappoint a customer… but what if the poor experience was caused by something apparently beyond your control?

Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters, we are a bit more likely to notice when a host or hostess seats us in a part of the restaurant that is filled with kids… especially if the children have poor restaurant manners and the parents lack any desire to introduce them. The meal can be delicious and the service can be wonderful, but we can still leave the restaurant disappointed in the experience.

In this week’s Springwise newsletter, there’s a story about how one transportation provider is separating customer groups in a way that can make life easier for everyone. Click here to read the story.

Implications: Many restaurants allow their seating decisions to be driven by operational issues, such as balancing the work among wait staff. Why aren’t more of those decisions driven by things that might result in consumer satisfaction? It’s not the restaurant’s fault if a family at the next table is being unruly. But it is a problem the restaurant could often prevent. If an issue is not the company's fault, but the company could solve it and chooses not to, isn’t the company complicit in the customer’s bad experience?

When you walk through your lobby, store, or dealership, don’t just focus on your product offering and service personnel. Other elements affect the consumer experience… even some which are beyond your responsibility, but within your ability to improve.

Mike Anderson

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