With the constant lament about the demise of brick and mortar and the rise of click and ship there is a lot of conversation about customer service. Consumers talk about how they hate to shop, others say there’s no such thing as customer service anymore: that the whole experience is bad or forgettable at best.
What’s the difference between success and failure in any business? It’s the experience. Today’s consumer wants an experience that not only solves their needs, but gives them a WOW moment. Good customer service is not enough…you need to be thinking beyond being nice on the phone or saying hello in the checkout lane – how can you surprise and delight your customer and give them a great customer experience?
I was reminded of that this week when this post from a local ice cream shop popped up in my feed.
To the average viewer, this post might seem nondescript and they scrolled past. Especially if they didn’t understand the context of a previous post and experience. In fact this post below that occurred just two days earlier set in motion the above example of a great customer experience.
What you see above is indeed Vin Diesel – the one and only movie star of the hugely popular Fast & Furious franchise, strolling the streets of a local small town. He’d had dinner with some friends and apparently stopped for ice cream. And yes, he took the glass sundae dish with him as he strolled Main Street. Personally, I was more distracted by the idea that he actually eats ice cream!
As you can imagine, the local social feeds were abuzz with news of Hollywood royalty in small town Wisconsin and it was big news.
But like all things, the 15 minutes of fame was over a day or so later, Vin Diesel was gone and all that was left were blurry iPhone pictures and videos and bragging rights for the local businesses that catered to the star.
That is unless you were Fein Brothers, and you were paying attention to your customers. A lot of the social feeds had joked about Vin Diesel stealing a sundae glass. Why did a celebrity even need a sundae glass? Well, that’s irrelevant.
Fein Brothers, a restaurant and kitchen supply company graciously took it upon themselves to replace that sundae glass for Scoop de Ville. They saw an opportunity to connect with their customer and deliver a WOW moment of customer experience. It was enough of a wow moment that the ice cream shop shared this experience online.
No matter our business or line of work, we have customers. The cost of doing business is doing our jobs and doing them well. The difference between us and a competitor is the experience. It might be remembering a birthday, asking about a personal experience or responding to something relevant because we were paying attention. Online has its advantages, but in a click and ship world, only real people can pay attention to the human details of life.
I’m certain that Scoop de Ville did not need to replace that sundae glass today and when they do need to replace it, they could probably order it on Amazon. But they’ll remember the personal connection that they have with Mike at Fein Brothers and the fact that he was paying attention to their business.
Lesson of Today: Great customer service is about great customer experience which can only happen if you are paying attention to each customer’s unique needs.