This happened when I visited the Global Village during the Dubai Shopping Festival.
I went to the Global Village straight from work and was thoroughly exhausted going around the place. The only thing that could put some life in me was a cup of tea. We hence visited the stall where they were serving free tea. I stood aside with all the bags while my wife went to get us tea. There was quite a crowd and I noticed there was a separate line for ladies.
It is usually the case that when anything is free, there is a mad rush to get it even if you don’t want it. It was the same case here where even the ladies area seemed quite disorderly.
I was watching this young guy who was serving the ladies. What made the situation most interesting was that in spite of the melee he managed from behind the counter to maintain a queue and hence avoided hot tea spilling on others. He asked each one as to the amount of sugar and if they wanted milk along with a possible parting remark depending on the person in front of him. I stood watching him till my wife brought our cups.
During the entire time I spent watching him serve the ladies he had a smile and a manner of conversing that seemed easy. The time he must have spent with each person must have been around 45 seconds. Since there was a constant stream of ladies coming, he was kept busy preparing tea. It seemed that, while he was doing a mechanical job of preparing tea he seemed focused on the person in front of him. Even my wife managed to get her cup of tea quite in line with her taste and a parting comment from him on the quantity of tea to milk and sugar mix.
Being free tea, it need not have been laced with good service. On the contrary, this was a very wonderful sight of excellent customer service. I thought to myself as to how long he must have been on duty today and what must be making him smile in a situation where under normal circumstances any person would have been fed up with the lot in front of him. A situation that could make a person scream and run away.
I think in a matter of 45-60 seconds he managed to bring forth little little details of good customer service such as
SMILING AT THE CUSTOMER
UNDERSTANDING HIS NEEDS
A THANK YOU IN THE END
Don't we see similar situations at many fast food outlets where they pride in their claim to serve customers within a specific period of time? It is possible that they might be keeping up to it but the question is how are the customers served. Beyond good timing are they totally focused on the customer? Do they add on a friendly and genuine greeting? Does it get laced with a smile? Did you hear “Thank you, do come again”?
In short, are customers only served within the said time or does it come with gestures that would make him come back or relate to others his experience. Is it done with the customer in mind or is speed the only criterion.
Good customer service is when you manage to juggle all this together such that he departs with a "thank you" in return. Also a genuine smile back from him is proof of good service. It is reflection of your smile to him. These should be the real rewards for good customer service.
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