When I managed a contact center, I actually had our phones set to come on 5 minutes before our posted hours and to stay on 5 minutes past our posted hours. I did this because I wanted to surprise and delight our early bird customers and I wanted to offer relief to upset customers who just couldn’t call before quitting time.
An excellent service experience from top to bottom has always been a fierce focus of mine. Today I discovered a grocery store that shares my idea of opening up just a little earlier for customers and staying open later. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, let me tell you about a service fail.
My daughter and I walked into a drug store 15 minutes before closing one night. The lights were already dimmed, and the closing announcement blasted over the PA system at least 3 times during our short trip to the store. Employees were busy shutting down registers and scurrying around to get things locked down by 9 pm. My daughter and I felt like unwelcome guests at a party, and we felt compelled to rush our shopping so that the workers could get out of the building no later than 9:01 pm.
This morning I visited Natural Grocers, a wonderful natural and organic grocery store.
I noticed their odd store hours posted on the door.
Monday- Saturday: 8:56 am – 8:04pm
Sunday: 9:56am – 7:06pm
Intrigued by the unusual hours, I went to the company’s website and found this:
We have a real pet peeve about those loud announcements that you often hear in stores, like this one:
“ATTENTION SHOPPERS! THE STORE WILL BE
CLOSING IN FIFTEEN MINUTES! PLEASE MAKE
YOUR SELECTIONS NOW AND GET TO THE
CHECK OUT SO WE CAN GO HOME! NOW!”
Instead, we think if you have come to shop with us we should be happy you are here. If you come a little early, we will open the doors with a smile to get you inside. If you show up right at closing, you are still welcome to come in and shop at your leisure. Those odd hours we list on the door are just a reminder to our staff and to you that we promise to welcome you and we will stand by that pledge.
My service experience at the drug store wasn’t horrible, yet it was far from remarkable. The friendly hours of Natural Grocers were refreshing, and they matched the service I got in the store.
Align your processes, policies, and people to deliver an amazing experience at the top of the day, throughout the day and at the very end of the day.
If your contact center hours are 8 am – 7 pm and someone calls at 6:59 pm, they deserve your full attention and a complete and enthusiastic service experience. Do a little extra, and you’ll be sure to give your customers a memorable and refreshing customer experience that they’ll rave about.
If you’re into organic and natural food, you might want to check out Natural Grocers. Great selection and really great prices. Not to mention, wicked-cool store hours.
Imagine sitting in a local coffee shop that’s nestled in a bookstore, and talking over a latte with Myra about ways to help your employees deliver the best possible customer experience and ways to help reduce stress on your employees as they deal with difficult customers.
Every week, often literally from a coffee shop, Myra gives you ideas that in one way or another are actionable towards improving your customer experience.
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