One of the tools I use to improve the customer experience with my clients immediately is Start, Stop, Continue. I gather a team together and ask them what we need to Start, Stop, and Continue to do with the customer experience. Sitting at my desk just now, I sketched out Start, Stop, and Continue for a restaurant that just ruined a chance for a significant catering event.
The restaurant didn’t ask for my help. But they need it.
My sister, a Human Resources professional, is planning a Christmas Party for her company directors. The company had a cuisine in mind, and my sister reached out to a restaurant to discuss catering menu options. The first time she called, the reply was astonishing, “The Manager handles that and he’s at the bank. I can take your email address, and he can send you an email with the details.”
When the menu hadn’t shown up in my sister’s email box, she reached out again. And again. Both times the gatekeeper defended, “The manager is in his office doing paperwork, and he’ll send the catering menu over email – when he’s not so busy.” Pinky swear – this is a true story.
I have four urgent questions about this customer experience
- If catering discussions only happen electronically, which leaves a sour taste in my mouth, why couldn’t the employee taking the message merely email the menu?
- Why play hard to get with a customer who is trying to place a stupendously large order at your restaurant?
- What, precisely, is so engaging with paperwork that the manager can’t be bothered to make money?
- And perhaps most perplexing, why couldn’t anyone who answers the phone be able to talk over catering menu options?
It took me less than twenty seconds to determine Start, Stop, Continue for the restaurant:
- Training all employees to take catering orders
- Talk to customers on the phone first, then send out your email
- Put your catering menu online!
- Giving too much information to customers over the phone (Manager is at the bank, Manager is too busy)
- Dodging calls
- Putting paperwork before customers
I couldn’t think of anything.
Most Customer Experience Problems Are Easily Fixed!
You can quickly improve a problem or process in your customer experience by sitting down with your team and asking, What should we start doing? What should we stop doing? And what should we continue to do? Then, assign tasks and get to work!
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