Sticker Shock Sours Service Story

Recently I posted a blog, Suggestive Selling = Great Service detailing how service providers can enhance their customers experience by suggesting alternate products or items.  The side benefit is that the additional or higher priced sale is also good for business.

Effective suggestive selling can be a win-win, IF the focus of the transaction is customer satisfaction, not the transaction total.

It would seem that qualifier is sometimes forgotten.  At a dinner party recently, a colleague shared a story with me.  He and his wife, along with another couple, had dined at a local restaurant. They enjoyed their dinner and when the plates were taken away, decided to continue their evening over an after-dinner drink.  My colleague appreciates a nice brandy now and then and when the server highly recommended a brand he hadn’t had before, he tried it.  The entire evening was lovely … until the cheque arrived.  That’s when sticker shock hit. They couldn’t believe the number at the bottom and realized it was because that one drink of highly recommended brandy cost $175!  Just a minor little detail their server neglected to mention.

They called the manager over and a significant price adjustment was made.  Unfortunately, that didn’t change the fact that their experience was soured.

As we head into a brand new year, take a moment to review the messages you are sending your service team, including the unspoken ones. Reward based on the number of specials or widgets sold send the message that the sale is more important than the customer’s wants, needs and expectations.

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