One of the most effective and time-tested ways to cement a customer-centric service culture in your organization is to ensure your employees walk in the customer’s shoes. Recently I found myself in need of a rental truck for moving. After researching rental options online via U-Haul, I called the customer service phone line to confirm the package I intended to go with. After a short and helpful conversation, the customer service rep advised me to make sure I unchecked all the boxes on one of the order pages, because U-Haul automatically checks them as a default (the specific page asked if you wanted add-ons like boxes and bubble wrap). She noted that, never having to actually order a U-Haul truck online herself, she went through the process one day so she “could know what the customer has to go through”. That’s exactly the type of action that all employees should take, and on a consistent basis.
Here’s an example from the other side. I ended up booking a hotel room very last minute at a newly renovated “boutique” hotel in Connecticut for an event I was attending. Having never been there, I was a bit confused to begin with as the venue had several different buildings. The front desk directed me to walk through a set of doors, across a parking lot, and into another building to get to my room. Once I got to my building and headed to the second floor, this is what I saw at the top of the stairs:
Not a single sign with room numbers…or any other information for that matter. Pretty big misstep, for sure. Now, imagine if an employee had been assigned the simple task of walking through the customer experience of checking in, step by step? Have to imagine this would have been caught and fixed immediately.