A few months back I put together a blog post over here where I highlighted the fact that Great Products Don’t Need Customer Service by pointing out one of my favourite experiences I went through when I went back, where I grew up, for the summer holidays, and enjoyed some of the most amazing morcilla. And for several days! Well, today I thought I would go ahead and venture to state that excelling customer experiences don’t need much of customer service either. And perhaps not much of Social for that matter! When was the last time that you had a customer experience where you felt touched, emotional, engaged, perhaps even loved?
While you keep thinking about that one, I can tell you that I had to go way way back in time to remember my last one of those superiour customer experiences. However, there is hope out there, specially, when you bump into a rather short video clip that a fellow IBM colleague, Fran O’Sullivan, shared internally, in our social networking platform, and which has been making the rounds quite a bit, although externally it looks like it has faded away a little bit. Unfortunately.
In The Simple Truth of Service Barbara Glanz shares along one of the most inspiring, touching, mind-blowing stories you are probably going to hear, read or see this year. No doubt. It’s about a story where “you put your personal signature on the job“. About how you, the seller employee, needs to think about “something you can do for your customer to make them feel special“, building up on a memory, or series of memories, that will make them come back to you for more.
And there it begins the wonderfully touching story from Johnny the bagger. No, not to worry, I am not going to spoil it for you folks. It’s a delightful 3 minute long video that I would ask you to stop anything you may be doing, including reading this blog post, and watch it through in its entirety and then come back:
Truly amazing and rather incredible story, don’t you think? I am not sure about you, but I guess, after watching it, excelling customer experiences have taken a new meaning for me. Hope for you, too! One where “everyone is having a lot of fun creating memories“. One where the focus shifts away and turns into “our customers are talking to us … they are coming back, they are bringing their friends” [Emphasis mine], more than anything else, because for the first time in a long long while employees choose “to make a difference”.
Barbara herself highlighted it very recently what it is all about: “Great service comes from the heart!“, but in the exceptional case of Johnny it lies even deeper than that, as it is brilliantly quoted on the video clip itself:
“Johnny’s idea wasn’t nearly as innovative as it was loving. It came from his heart — it was real”. That’s what touched customers, his peers… and those who read this story” [Emphasis mine]
They say that Social / Open Business is all about inviting customers to participate and share in open, direct, transparent conversations with the ultimate goal to delight them. In short, it’s all about engagement. But I guess we should never underestimate the power of stories either, stories that go rather deep, that touch our hearts in places we never thought even existed. In stories that truly bring up what an exceptional customer experience is all about: everything, but technology. It’s all about emotion and essentially how much of that emotion, passion, loving AND caring you put into it all. And for the vast majority of cases you may not even need to use technology for that. Just your human nature. That special one we all have hidden somewhere deep inside ourselves and that I sense needs to start coming out more and more often as we transition into that fascinating world of Open Business.
“When the heart is in the right place,
The ego gets out of the way.
That’s when great service
comes shining through”
Wise words, indeed. So next time that someone asks you to define what a truly engaging and delightful customer experience should be like, we probably don’t have to look any further up than Johnny the bagger.
The simple truth of service.