Let me describe my experience at McDonalds, Velachery to put this in context. I ordered an ice cream sundae and as soon as the order was taken and paid for, I remembered I had this "Smile" card which entitles you to a free "item" at specific visits to McDonalds. I showed the smile card to the counter staff and asked for my free ice cream float. The excuse was that he had already taken the order and it will be difficult to reverse it. It is absolutely criminal for your service staff to use a procedural point to deny a customer something he is entitled to. Ironically this was called the smile card. It is not my problem if your system does not allow you to reverse or change something. My transaction has not completed till I get the ice cream in my hand and leave the counter.
Your counter staff or your front office staff are your most important employees. Train them well and always ask them to think of ways to make the customer happy. Especially do not use a procedural point like my system is inflexible to deny the customer if he is technically entitled to some level of service or product. Empower your staff to build that emotional connect and reward them based on that. The customer will be loyal to you for life.
Ironically this is not only applicable only to external customers. This applies in many scenarios to internal stakeholders or customers. For example the HR or Admin department is the internal employee service arm of the company. The employees' welfare and happiness is determined to a large extent on his interaction with them. For example, if your employee has to take leave for some genuine reason or his pay has not been credited due some system problem, do everything to solve his problem immediately. Never reply that the it is a system issue, HR or Admin policy or any other kind of nonsense. Remember an employee works best if he leaves his personal worries at home. Care for your employee as a family member and, he will be immensely more productive and loyal to you.
- Aditya Raghav