The Reality of Service
I recently attended one of my client’s annual conference on the Gold Coast followed by a fantastic weekend reunion with my best mates from the rock band at School – we did a gig for around 100 people at a hotel in Balmain and had an absolute blast.
It was, in the end for me, more about the journey to the reunion, and given the timing of the conference and the reunion, I turned it into a big road trip up and down the East Coast. From Melbourne to Sydney to Port Macquarie for our last practice session, then onto the conference and then back to Sydney for the gig.
On the way, I had the opportunity to visit some great towns on the north coast of NSW, and to experience some amazing service and hospitality, which provoked me to write this short blog on the ‘reality of service’.
Customer service is a word bandied about a lot in marketing books, and blogs, and by sales and marketing gurus. And no doubt it’s the topic of conversation in just about every business from time to time.
But what is real service, and what is ‘cynically’ or ‘artificially’ done just to tick the box.
I stayed in a very high quality hotel on the gold coast for the conference, where the staff were all very nice, and they left small gifts in the room when servicing each day, it was all very flash – but it had an artificial feel to it to be honest. There was nothing wrong, but I didn’t feel at any time, like the hotel or the staff really connected in any meaningful way. Service was something they did, but didn’t feel – if you know what I mean.
Contrast that with my overnight stay at the Colonial Court Motel in Kempsey, where the owners -Hew and Iris Overell – were absolutely amazing with their service and in making me feel welcomed. From the first moments welcome at reception, to the complimentary juice, to organising dinner to be delivered from the local hotel right to my room – it was real genuine human warmth all the way. And right on the river in Kempsey with Water Dragons sunning themself on the grass in the morning as an added bonus!!
When you deal with a business, as a customer – you are not just a customer – you are also a human being. When I reflect back on connections I’ve made with businesses over the years, the overriding theme of why I did business with them – particularly in repeat or long term purchase scenarios was because I liked the person who ran the business or who looked after me – they were REAL people – who also happened to be servicing my needs – Sam at his Pizza shop in Lane Cove, Raj at Cantine in Brighton, John at the Bank of Queensland, Sue at Bendigo Bank, Ross who serviced my FIAT years ago.
By all means, ensure good service is done – but I’m going to suggest that if your business can really connect with the person as a human being – not just a customer who pays you money for something – you’re going to be on a winner in terms of flourishing and prospering in your business.
Make the human connection – offer REAL service – and win.