Friday, July 18, 2008

A Wicked Example of Customer Service

Hello everyone,

I'm back from our vacation time and I'll be posting regularly for the next couple of weeks before I leave for the Olympics.

One of the things that we did on our vacation was to take in the musical Wicked in Chicago. The musical itself was phenomenal and I highly recommend it. Before the musical started there was a great illustration on the importance of customer service and taking initiative.

When we got to our seats my wife and I noticed that there was a railing obstructing our view. This was frustrating as we had paid for full-price tickets, not obstructed view seats.

I spotted an official looking attendant who was clearly supervising the ushers. I approached her with the situation. She immediately went into blame mode putting all of the responsibility on the box office. She explained that the box office determines the seats. She stated that she could not do anything for me and that I would have to go to the box office. With only a few minutes before the start of the show there was not time for this if I wanted to catch the opening scene. I went back to my seat even more frustrated.

A couple of minutes later I saw another official looking lady who was also clearly a supervisor. I approached her with the issue. Her reaction was the opposite to the first supervisor. She immediately checked out our seats and apologized for the blocked view. She not only sympathized with us, but agreed that the seats should not have been full priced seats. She left us for a moment as she looked for other alternatives. Quickly she returned with two alternative seating options, both lower and better spots. Finally at the intermission she came and checked to make sure we were happy with our new seats.

The difference in how the two supervisors handled the situation was amazing. The first one left us with now solution, and increased my frustration level by how dismissive of our concern. The second supervisor made us extra happy with our evening and with how she resolved the situation. The theater is lucky to have the second supervisor. I've been recommending the show to everyone, something I may not have done if we hadn't had our seats changed.

How is your customer service? Do you go out of the way to take care of your customers? Do your employees? Employees need to be empowered. If you are employee, you can distinguish yourself and make yourself invaluable by providing great customer service.

Whatever your role, customer service needs to be your priority. Great customer service will create fantastic word of mouth for you and your business.


No comments: