Providing customers with an awesome Experience requires creating an experience which doesn’t merely meet expectations, but exceeds expectations.
Since receiving “good service” is what the majority of customers expect, we must raise the bar and deliver experiences that are exceptional, remarkable, memorable and pushed into the realm of Awesomeness.
I think this is witnessed most in restaurants. When people go to a restaurant, they expect to be welcomed, seated, their order taken and a good (hot perhaps) meal delivered to their table, all in a timely manner. This is commonly my experience when visiting restaurants. What I call “standard service”; what most people expect.
Since waiters make a large portion of their wages from tips, it astounds me that most don’t think and act on the simple million-dollar question, “How can I make this experience awesome for my paying customers?”. There are myriad simple ways to make an experience memorable.
Continuing with our restaurant context, off the top of my head, here are examples of what a server could possibly do:
- When taking the order, ask “Will this be on one bill?”. This will avoid issues with bill-splitting at time of payment, making for a smoother experience.
- Notice a patron with possible back problems? (signs of discomfort, walking with a walker/cane) Ask “Can I get you a cushion for your back? Would this make you more comfortable?”
If the restaurant doesn’t have an assortment of cushions on hand, suggest it.
- An obvious one. Check regularly to ensure patrons have everything they need and even better, anticipate needs. For example, fill up a water glass before it’s empty. See a dropped utensil? Rush and present a replacement.
- Smile and be friendly, no matter how you may be feeling.
- Drape the napkin on their lap when seating patrons.
- If a child is present, offer some paper/crayons to keep them occupied.
If the restaurant doesn’t have paper/crayons, perhaps suggest it?
- Maybe build the relationship with the patrons, showing care beyond a server/customer relationship. This can be tricky as the customer must be correctly assessed. Some may not welcome this, preferring privacy. A good example is how Dante built his successful business by nurturing personal connections. (See this post: The Ingredient of Distinction).
- Unique personalized handwritten words on the bill, for example: “Have a great vacation in Toronto!” (see previous note above).
Good is what customers expect, GREAT… is what will make you stand out.