A Customer Service Improvement A Day Keeps The Apple Away

Making the decision to enact a creative customer service improvement is fantastic. Using the wrong presentation or forgetting to follow through, however, can create an awkward situation.

An example of a failed customer service improvement comes out of the grocery industry. A large grocery store opened a new outlet in my neighborhood. A small basket of red apples sits by the cash register. The sign in the basket reads:

“Free apple if our staff at check-out did not greet you and say thank you.”

But the apple basket stays full. Not because the check-out staff are always smiling (trust me), but because the act of taking an apple is tantamount to “catching the staff doing something wrong!” Who wants to irritate grocery check-out staff when they’re ringing up your order?

To get the impact and the customer service improvement the store really wants, the sign could be re-written like this:

“Thank you for shopping with us. We want you to have a good shopping experience. If, at any point, we are so busy serving you that we forget to greet you or say ‘Thank you,’ please let one of these delicious apples put a smile upon your face. We will smile back!”

The store would give away more apples with this sign, but would gain more smiles, too. Better text, better impact, better customer service improvement.

Key Learning Point To Customer Service Improvement

Follow your good ideas all the way from concept to detailed execution. Good ideas need great implementation to deliver real results. Failing to do these things can turn a great idea into a flop.

Action Steps To Customer Service Improvement

Find where your promotions and policies are actually seen and heard by your customers. Be sure the message is as clear at point of contact as it was when first created. Doing so can help you enact an improvement that really works to wow customers.


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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” books and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpliftingService.com.

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