What are your Service Hiccups?

Recently I conducted a training session out of town and had about a four hour wait from the time the session ended until I could catch my flight and head home.

The training was in a small community with an airport that was only staffed about an hour prior to a flight arriving or departing.  That meant spending about three hours in a restaurant close to the airport.  The overall experience was quite pleasant.  I was greeted by a smiling server, who when I explained that I would be spending a few hours with them, found me a quiet corner to work.  My food was brought out as ordered and she was attentive to my needs, ensuring my water and tea did not run out.

The hiccup to an otherwise satisfactory experience came when I went to pay my bill and leave.  I told the girl working the cash register I needed a taxi to the airport.  Instead of picking up the phone right next to her, which had the number of the cab company taped to it, she directed me to the payphones outside in the lobby.  As luck would have it, I had no coins and needed to go back to ask for change.  The restaurant was pretty much empty and there was no one in sight to give me change. When the cashier did come out from the back and saw me back at the desk, she once again missed the opportunity to make my life just a little easier.  Instead of offering to place a quick call, she broke my $5 and sent me back out to the payphones.

Were these  missed opportunities due to poor training, an indifferent attitude or a policy not to call cabs for customers because sometimes it was too busy to do so?  I don’t know what the answer is, but it made me wonder …

  • Are there opportunities I am missing to make the lives of my clients easier?
  • Are there roadblocks to an excellent experience that need to be altered or removed?

Sometimes the only way to know for sure is to ask the people we serve.

Have you asked  your customers those questions lately?  If  not, why not do so?  The information you gain may be just what you need to get rid of service hiccups and turn merely satisfactory experiences into overwhelmingly positive experiences.


Just a quick reminder to join me on Doug Dickerson’s Blog Talk radio show, Management Moment at 9:00 am CST tomorrow morning. Click here to link to the show.


3 thoughts on “What are your Service Hiccups?

  1. I think an even deeper question is how is that cashier being treated by her supervisor(s)? Are they going out of their way to make her experience there exceptional, and in turn inspiring her to tend to her customers in the same way?

    • Hi Amber. Internal service is a big factor in the the service our external customers receive. supervisors and managers that model the behaviour they expect their teams to provide are on the right track.

  2. Such an easy opportunity to wow. Easy to do, which makes it so easy to not do.

    But, what’s a payphone? 🙂 My daughter really likes history and things from “olden times” so she gets really excited whenever she sees a payphone – sort of like she just spotted a Model T or a clipper ship or a woolly mammoth…

    Have a great weekend!

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