by Kas Kunz
I think about it when I go to the airport and the first contact I have with the airlines I'm traveling on is their porters who handle the luggage. The first thing they point out is the tip policy and how it's forced on them by their airline company.
I think about it when I go into my favorite pet store and I'm greeted with a smile and glad you came in today. Followed up by do you need help in finding a particular item, not a generic can I help you. I think about it when they ask me how I like a particular product, because it's a new item they stock and they want to know how well it's working for their customers.
I think about it when the cashier is friendly and patient when the credit card process is not clear, even though they've probably helped every other customer that day with the same issue. As opposed to the cashier who's impatient and makes the customer feel stupid and they're responsible for holding up the checkout line.
I think about it when I go to the car dealership and the cashier takes your coupon and says next time give it to the service rep so you don't have to wait... instead of making sure the service reps automatically ask the customer if they have a coupon.
I think about it when I call tech support, amazed when a tech asks me what the problem is and listens first before they go into a pre-programmed routine that has nothing to do with my issue and willingly stays on the line until they know its resolved.
I think about it when I have a very pleasant exchange with a bank teller and I get a hand written note in the mail thanking me for my business.
Do you think about the individuals that work within your company who are the first or have the most contact with your customer's? What is the value to your business with the type of exchange and interaction they have with your customer's? Do you think about the exchange and interaction your customer front-liners have with others inside your company and the affect on their response to your customer's?
I think about the enormous effort and cost it takes just to get a prospect or customer to call, to walk into your store, to visit your Web site — give you their email address, to check out and try your services, prospects to become customers, customers to recommend you to others, and the impact of just one exchange with them on your business. It's not just about efficiency, cost savings, and profit margins, but the impact the different touch-points with your customer's has on the bottom line.