I visited a venue on the weekend to observe their customer service standards prior to rolling out training in the coming weeks.
I spent time with the Head of Operations, who took me straight to the Crush Pitt – the area at the front of the stage that begins with crash barriers then follows with a sea of bodies, sweaty bodies all crushed up against the crash barriers like sardines – I realised that I was about to witness customer service on a whole new level. It was explained to me that their role in customer service was all about prioritising customers needs and knowing their environment exceptionally well.
In a nutshell they needed to:
- Watch the crowd intently for people’s signals.
- Once someone signaled they wanted to get out of the crowd the staff had to act quickly.
- They then stepped up onto a step, leant over and pulled the individual out of the crowd from the heaving fans surrounding them.
- All the while looking for signs of them fainting, passing out from overheating/lack of air – knowing exactly what to anticipate once they retrieved the person (often as a dead weight).
I watched these big burley men, sporting long beards and tattoos working in their environment of sweat and tears all the while with ear plugs in to dull the 15 year old adolescence’s screaming at the top of their lungs. Each staff member in the Crush Pitt were not only pleasant (in such a highly stressful situation) but they were also useful. It was critical that these guys knew their stuff!
Maybe we look at customer service all wrong? It doesn’t have to always be about smiles and greetings. In fact this can be very 1 dimensional if it’s not backed up with substance. The substance I’m talking about is how well informed your staff are in their work environment.
Surely if we are aspiring to inspire our customers there is a critical component for staff to be informed!
3 quick check-in points to see how well you know your stuff:
- Know the products and services in the business well – as a minimum the top 5.
- Know what the most commonly asked questions from the customer and the answers to them.
- Be able to explain to another staff member the most important needs of your typical customer
I’d love to share more of these insights with you and your team members. Join us at the February Q Cocktail in Melbourne or if you’re planning your annual conference and want customer inspiration to be a focus for your team members for 2015 contact Jaquie on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go and Inspire!