13 Oct Radisson and Their Support of Breast Cancer Survivors – A Great Customer Experience
A great customer experience tells you a lot about a business – their culture, leadership, employee training, engagement, and processes. Processes are how your business gets work done: how you execute on your mission, how you deliver customer service excellence, and how you make money.
Processes and customer experience relate to one another.
I recently had a miserable customer experience with one brand, and a surprisingly great customer experience with another brand, discussed in this article. Both were primarily due to the same thing – processes. My great customer experience is an example of a positive culture, engaged employees, and clearly understood and defined processes.
I had a family event. It required me staying at a Radisson hotel. I don’t often stay at Radisson so didn’t know what to expect. The stay had issues. Some related to the building being older and in the midst of being redone. The big one related to my mother. She is a breast cancer survivor. She wears a custom made prosthetic. She left it on the night stand in her room when we went to the beach. We came back to the room to find that housekeeping threw it out! Now, we didn’t assume this was on purpose and made no accusations; however, we did notify the front desk.
The response from the staff was immediately apologetic. Several of them started making calls to search for the custom made prosthetic. They searched the laundry. They searched the trash. They called us with updates over the next 24hrs. We witnessed conversations between leadership and employees. They didn’t yell at the Housekeeping staff. They didn’t place blame. They didn’t fire anyone. They apologized again and asked if they could do anything to make my mother feel more comfortable. They even significantly credited our bill.
When the Radisson staff couldn’t find it, they offered to replace it. My mother told them Medicare only covers the cost of one. They told her get the replacement and send them the invoice. The Manager gave her email to send the invoice directly. After returning home and getting it replaced we sent them the invoice. 5 days later the check for the cost arrived in my Mother’s mailbox.
No arguments. No pushback. No shifting blame. Every employee involved was genuine in their concern. They understood this was an emotional and delicate thing to discuss. Some even shared personal stories with my mother about their own experiences with breast cancer and friends and family who are survivors. They all knew what processes to follow to resolve the issue, in what order, how to communicate with the guests, and how to create repeat business.
A great customer experience like this leads to an increase of new customers, positive reputation, and increased loyalty and revenues. Customer acquisition isn’t cheap – customer retention is a better way to go. This Radisson hotel understood that.
Improving customer experience – by providing clearly defined and easily understandable processes and training – offers many organizations a bigger return on investment.
How can you create a great customer experience?
Communication with the customer is imperative to great customer service and increased brand loyalty. Don’t assume. Communicate with your customers. Be prepared prior to interaction with a customer. Take the time to listen to their needs and concerns. Have an understanding of why they’re frustrated. Understand their issue and their relationship with your business. Do your homework prior to engaging with them for resolution. Customers are like snowflakes – no 2 are exactly the same. The process may be different to satisfy one customer as opposed to another. As I’m fond of saying “Ask. Listen. Deliver.”
If processes do exist for customer resolution, make them simple to understand and follow, and make them consistent across locations. Educate customer facing employees at all locations on how to execute such processes. If processes don’t exist, then allow for customer and employee feedback mechanisms to help create such new processes. And educate employees on how to respond appropriately to feedback.
Regardless of what type of customer service issues arise – you need to make sure someone is accountable to the customer. I’m not talking about people who are assigned to respond to complaints via social media – if a person is voicing a concern via social media then the issue has already gone unresolved during an interaction with an employee. Assign a voice and a face to the customer for such concerns at the point of the initial interaction. Make sure those folks have the skills, training, and authority to calmly and rationally resolve such issues in the moment or immediately following. Assign a single point of contact and empower them with the authority and supporting processes to resolve the matter to the customer’s satisfaction. This Radisson hotel excelled at this.
Developing streamlined and easily understandable processes, and training customer facing employees on how to follow them is a great step toward creating a great customer experience. And a great customer experience results in increased brand loyalty, reduction in customer acquisition costs, and increased profits!
If the opportunity presents itself my family will gladly stay at the Radisson again.
How do your processes impact your customer experience? And how do you think you rank against your competitors?
About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – a Leadership Effectiveness & Change Management firm. He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business.
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