1 Key to Serving Your Guests Well

Editors Note: During our August focus on Guest Experiences, we are honored to have some of the best voices in the world of Customer Experience provide guest posts for the Vision Room. As you read the content below, simply think “Guest” where you see the word “customer” – and you will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of some great minds.


Some of you may be familiar with the 1970’s and 80’s hit TV show M*A*S*H, based on the novel and movie by the same name. The series premiered in 1972 and played for eleven seasons. While, most refer to the show as a sitcom, some view it more as a “dramedy” than a comedy series because of the heavy dramatic setting, which was a medical unit in the Korean War. Sure, there were a lot of laughs, but the message behind the show was very serious. So, what does all of this have to do with customer service?

One of the characters, Corporal Walter “Radar” O’Reilly, played by Gary Burghoff, set a standard for customer service. He worked for Colonel Potter, who ran the unit. It was always a good laugh when Colonel Potter barked out a request for a file and Radar was walking into his office with the file before the Colonel finished his request. It was as if he could read minds, or as his nickname indicates, as if he had radar.

This reminded me of an interview I had with a potential employee that was applying to be my assistant here at Shepard Presentations. I asked her what her definition of a good assistant would be. She actually didn’t give me the answer I thought I might get. She said, “Radar O’Reilly.” She said, that’s the kind of assistant I want to be – knowing what you want before you even ask for it.

Whether it’s for the job of an assistant to an executive or assisting a customer, one of the attributes of someone who delivers outstanding customer service is the ability to anticipate a customer’s needs – like Radar, knowing what he or she wants before they ask.

It doesn’t take E.S.P., Extra Sensory Perception, which is the ability to read minds. It takes what I call E.A.P., or Extra Awareness Perception, the ability to know more, because you are aware and pay close attention. That’s really all this is; paying close attention to your customers, their behaviors, their habits and more. When you start to study your customers and know them that well, you’ll be able to anticipate or predict, with uncanny accuracy, what they will ask for next – sometimes even before they know they need to ask.

So, as we think about Radar O’Reilly’s uncanny ability to anticipate what Colonel Potter will ask for next time, think about what your customers are going to ask for next. I’ll bet your guess is more accurate than you think. Take the initiative and deliver a standard of customer service that would make Radar proud. The result will be… customer amazement!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright © MMXVII, Shep Hyken)


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is a customer service expert, hall-of-fame speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He works with organizations to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus, a customer service training program that helps organizations develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. For more information contact (314) 692-2200 or www.Hyken.com.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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