How to Deliver Seamless Customer Service

By Lorie Rosenberg

Group Of Friends Enjoying Sushi In Restaurant

Have you ever had a customer service experience that was flaw­less? If it was at a restaurant, from the moment you walked through the door, the experience was amaz­ing. Your waiter filled your glass every time it was empty and you never saw him do it. Your food was served promptly and it was hot and tasty. The check came at the right time and you left feeling full and completely satisfied. The experi­ence was well worth the money you spent.

If you’ve had a great experience at a computer or appliance store, your salesperson was knowledge­able, she answered all of your questions and directed you to the right product that was exactly what you were looking for and it was on sale as well. The company called you the day before your delivery as a reminder; the delivery person showed up on time, wore booties into your home so that no dirt was tracked into the house and was courteous and polite. The entire experience went smoothly and without a hitch.

Unfortunately, this was not the experience we had at a restaurant we went to a few days ago during our trip to the Adirondacks in New York.

We were invited out to dinner with my brother and his wife and seven of their friends to a well-known restaurant in the nearby town of Speculator, New York.

When we got there, we ordered some drinks and sat in the lounge until our table was ready. Every­thing was going well until we sat down to eat.

When we all went into the din­ing room, I noticed that there were two tables set for us, one for four people and one for the remaining seven. I asked why we weren’t sit­ting together and the person who made our reservation said that they couldn’t fit 11 people at the same table. It clearly seemed possible but I didn’t want to create a commotion to make it happen since I was one of the guests and I wanted to get invited again.

It seems to me that when you have a party of 11 that are dining together the restaurant should fig­ure out how to seat them all together.

Next, we were welcomed by our waiter who seemed hurried and frantic. He was sweating profusely and mentioned how there was another table that was having some issue with where they were sitting and the sister was angry at her brother for making a big deal out of it.

The appetizers were okay but nothing special, and my salad was good. But that's when it started going downhill. I ordered the daily special, which was a shrimp scampi dish with prosciutto in a white wine sauce. The shrimp were over­cooked, the sauce was tasteless and the pasta was obviously from a package. I absolutely hate going out to dinner and being served a dish I could make at home 100 percent better.

If I had not been with these new people, I would have sent the dish back and had a talk with the manager about the experience as a whole. When I left I felt that the money I spent was a complete waste and I won’t return there.

So what can you do to make your customers’ service experiences seem seamless?

1) Think Through Every Detail of the Service Experience

It’s important to review every part of a customer’s service experi­ence with you and make sure that there are no holes in your processes that could cause a problem. Take into consideration any problems that could arise and how you should handle them.

2) Make Sure Your Staff Under­stands Your Organization’s Vision

When it’s your own business, it’s difficult to get your staff to have the same dedication as you do. Make sure that the people who work for you know what your vision is for the organization and how you want them to treat customers. Let them know what they should and shouldn’t do and how to interact with customers.

3) Standardized Processes

It’s really important that every employee task is written in some type of process manual so that it is handled consistently every time. For instance, in a restaurant, there should be specific recipes for each meal. Otherwise different chefs could cook it differently and the food would be inconsistent.

To ensure customer loyalty, you need to take a close look at the value you offer your customers. Are they getting the best value from the money they’re spending with you? If you’re running a seamless busi­ness, the answer should be “yes!”