The Importance and Impact of Customer Service

Posted Thursday, August 5th, 2010. Filed Under Corporate - Tips/Tools Blog

I do have to admit that the U.S. is much better at customer service, at least at the retail end, than us Canadians. Perhaps they have better training; perhaps they understand the value of retaining customer loyalty. Whatever is the reason it is one area that we, in Canada, really need to focus on and improve. We are improving … slowly.

I just came across this book and I wanted to share it with you. The title of the book is The Simple Truths of Service … Inspired by Johnny the Bagger. The author is Barbara Glanz. Barbara is also a speaker. She was speaking to about 3,000 employees of a large grocery chain on the topic of Customer Service. At the end of her presentation, she put up her contact information and said, “If anyone has any great stories on service, I’d love to hear from you.”

HERE IS THE STORY SHE SHARES AND ONE THAT INSPIRED THIS BOOK:

About a month later, Barbara got a call. The young man on the phone said, “Barbara, my name is Johnny. I’m a bagger at the grocery store and I have Down syndrome.” He then said, “I heard what you had to say about service and I liked it! But I thought – what can I do? I’m just a bagger.”

“Then, I got an idea!”

“I love sayings and thought that each day I could pick out my favourite saying and my dad and I could print it out on the computer. I could cut out the strips and sign the back of each one. Then, I’d fold each one up, and the next day, I’d drop it right in the customer’s bag and say ‘I hope you enjoy my quote of the day.’ ”

“What do you think, Barbara?”

Barbara said, “Johnny, that’s a wonderful idea!”

About a month later, Barbara got another call…this time from the store manager. The manager said, “Barbara, you’re not going to believe what’s happened at our store.” He said, “I went out the other day and one line was three times longer than the others. I went to the back of the line and invited all the customers to go through the shorter lines but…they would not budge. They all wanted to see Johnny’s quote of the day! In fact, one lady said, ‘I used to come to the store once a week and now I come two to three times a week just to see the smile on his face when he drops in his favourite quote!’ ”

The manager then said, “The next day I rounded up my team to share with them what Johnny was doing to create memories for our customers. Shortly thereafter, I noticed that our manager in the flower department was cutting off her broken flowers and finding an elderly lady to pin it on. He said, “Our meat department manager loved Snoopy and would bring in his favourite Snoopy stickers to stick on the packages. He would then go out and laugh with the customers.”

The manager then said, “It’s amazing Barbara. It seems everyone in our store has found a way to put their mark on service. We’re having the time of our lives and everyone in this small town is talking about us. And, guess what Barbara…it happened for one reason…Johnny decided to do something!”

You see, at the core of great service lies the heart of each employee. Johnny brought his heart to his job. He focused on what he could do in his daily work to make his customers feel special and their lives a little bit better.

In this little book, Barbara Glanz tells Johnny’s story and then best-selling author, Ken Blanchard (The One Minute Manager) shares powerful stories to reinforce the ten most important things you need to know about creating a service culture in your organization. Together, they’re unforgettable!

Therefore, if you’re serious about improving the service to your customers, or your clients, there is no better place to start than right here! To learn more go to simpletruths

I love this story. Some people view customer service in a company as the “low job on the totem poll”. I disagree – All positions are important. As far as Customer Service it can make or break you as a company. It is often your front line to the outside world- current and prospective customers/clients.

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