Last year, I went to a café after a run. I was greeted by a cheerful attendant who took down my order. Upon telling him that I would like to have an eggless slice of cake with coffee, he apologised as they did not have eggless delicacies on their menu and assured me that he will request the manager to consider having eggless and vegan options. Six months later, I went back and found eggless options on the menu. This is my experience of customer inclusion.
There are four things I learnt from this:
• A courteous greeting excellently makes a positive first impression on a customer
• The attendant listened to my request – listen to what the customer is really saying.
• The attendant apologised profusely when my request would not be met. He responded with empathy and care.
• Incorporated my feedback – An attendant passed my message across the organisation and a change was made to incorporate my feedback.
Not only does this show how much the café values their customer’s experience but it also shows that they have an open communication channel with their employees to enhance the standard of services offered. A customer wants to feel seen and heard.
The same way outside GA, U and Me are customers, at GA we are serving customers like U and ME. I want my customers to have the same experience I had at the café. How do we drive customer inclusion in our day-to-day job? Customer inclusion isn’t just a new way to market/sell, it is a new way to operate to meet the needs and solve problems in a way that generates lifelong partnerships with our customers.
Building relationships with customers has never been more challenging with so much competition for their attention. If you are not including your customers, someone else is. We need to get to know the customers beyond the typical satisfaction survey. Building connection and trust with our customers will allow them to share honest feedback and we need to build systems to act on that feedback to accelerate growth.
One way I do this is by being proactive. When a customer makes an enquiry, I immediately respond via a call or an email to understand what the customer is seeking. When there is a new development regarding the enquiry, I update my customer to assure them that I am working on it. Lack of proactiveness would mean that the customer has to keep calling, this leaves the customer feeling unattended, unimportant and unassured. U and ME would not appreciate that. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney