Article: “Biggest Customer Service Blunders of All Time” (Mar.2006)

excerpt:
"These are the places where turbo-charged employees pursue customer delight with a passion, places that ignite a flashpoint of contagious enthusiasm in employees and customers alike. Foremost among the lessons to be learned from such flashpoint businesses are the blunders to avoid–"

Blunder #1: Making customer service a training issue.
Blunder #2: Blaming poor service on employee "demotivation."
Blunder #3: Using customer feedback to uncover what's wrong.
Blunder #4: Reserving top recognition for splashy recoveries.
Blunder #5: Competing on price.  

Instead of dictating what your employees should be doing to delight customers, the better approach is to give your workers opportunities to brainstorm their own ideas for delivering delight. This level of employee ownership and involvement is a key cultural characteristic of virtually all flashpoint businesses.

Businesses really compete on the perception of value, and this includes more than price. It's shaped by the total customer experience–and aspects such as "helpfulness," "friendliness" and "the personal touch" often give the competitive advantage to businesses that actually charge slightly more for their basic goods and services."

source: "Biggest Customer Service Blunders of All Time" by Paul Levesque (Entrepreneur, Mar.21,2006)

WaiterBell Angle: This article explains some of the characteristics of "flashpoint businesses" and challenges many of the commonly held beliefs on monitoring and improving customer service that are used in the restaurant industry. While some of these points are debateable, one aspect of the article that the restaurant industry may wish to investigate more is involving employee participation in the evaluation of certain issues.

We offer a free trial of the the WaiterBell system so that managers and employees can evaluate the system risk free. Empowering customers and creating a service safety net are new concepts in the restaurant industry, and we want to make sure it is right for your restaurant and employees.

The article also spoke about businesses gaining a competitive advantage by enhancing the total customer experience. When restaurants empower their customers with the WaiterBell system, it shows that they trust their customers and give them the option of shaping their dining experience.

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