The Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: A Customer Service Story


Your Brand

Don’t you just hate it when you are talking to someone in a store or on a customer support call and the person says, “I’m sorry, that’s not my department.”? Well, here’s an extreme example of that situation.

I was at a restaurant. My water glass was empty. There was a server walking by with a full pitcher of water. I asked him, “Excuse me, can you please fill my water glass?” He answered, “I’m sorry, you’re not in my station.”

What just happened? He had the pitcher of water. He was walking right by me. All he had to do was pour the water. But, because he was not my regular server, he made a choice not to take care of me. The problem is that regardless of the tables he was assigned to serve that night, he still represented the restaurant. And, he just tainted the experience for the rest of the evening.

Here is another example, with a happier ending. One of our Shepard Letter subscribers, Tina Farmer, shared this with us.

Tina was driving home to St. Louis from Indianapolis when she decided to stop at McDonald’s for breakfast. She drove up to the drive-through window and ordered coffee and two Egg McMuffins without any meat. For those that might not know, the Egg McMuffin is an egg sandwich with an egg, cheese and a slice of Canadian bacon. McDonald’s caters to vegetarians and even has a special key on the ordering system and cash register that states: “No Canadian Bacon.”

Tina looked at the receipt, which indicated the order was correct, and drove off. Once on the highway, she opened her Egg McMuffin to find a sausage patty had been substituted for the Canadian bacon. In other words, it had meat. She was disappointed and hungry. Then she saw a sign advertising another McDonald’s at the next exit and decided to try her luck at this location. Rather than go through the drive-through lane, she went inside to place her order. She explained what happened and showed the young man working the counter her receipt. He was friendly, sympathetic and apologetic, and without hesitation gave Tina two meatless McMuffins – and didn’t charge her for them.

Maybe the McDonald’s were owned by the same people, or maybe they weren’t. It doesn’t matter. One covered for the other’s mistake. And the way they went about it was textbook perfect. The employee at the second McDonald’s didn’t make excuses. He only apologized, smiled and took care of the customer. He was not only representing his McDonald’s. He was representing all McDonald’s.

There’s an old saying: A rising tide lifts all boats. I’m sure the first McDonald’s errant order was an innocent mistake. When the employee at the second McDonald’s took care of Tina, he became a McDonald’s brand ambassador. He restored Tina’s faith in all of the McDonald’s restaurants. And that is what this is all about.

You represent your brand. You represent all of the people you work with. When you do a good job, the customer says, “I like doing business with them.” Yet it was just you! So be the one that raises the tide – the one that lifts “all boats.”

 

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Shep Hyken – View the original post

About the author

Shep Hyken Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His focus is on delivering amazing customer service, customer engagement, managing the customer experience and creating customer loyalty. Follow Shep on Twitter: @Hyken

Read other posts by Shep Hyken

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Published On: 28th Jan 2016 - Last modified: 3rd Feb 2016
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1 Comment
  1. Dear Shep,

    Unbelievable! Just saw this one, and I have to admit my blood pressure went up by 20%! I sometimes despair if companies – and people – will ever get it. But I still live in hope that the cream also rises to the top while rubbish sinks. Great post, nice lessons for all of us.

    Aki Kalliatakis 3 Oct at 5:19 pm
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