There is no greater economic value to any business than their customer service. It has been proven time and time again, happier customers equate to more revenue and healthier profits for business.
Recently I visited one of our local popular restaurants for a lunch meeting. As I had arrived prior to the busy lunch rush, there was seating available. We thought it would be correct protocol to wait to be acknowledged by staff and led to the available seating. Whilst waiting, it gave us an opportunity to peruse the menu and decide what our lunch was going to consist of. Staff walked by us, back and forth, cleaning tables, placing cutlery, serviettes with no acknowledgement of our presence. The staff member behind the bar glanced over at us, intimidatingly looking us “up and down”, and yet still no acknowledgement. Looking at the customers that were already seated, you could clearly see the expressions of dissatisfactions with the service they had received as many had not been attended to. 10 minutes passed by and we had received no response by attending staff and the queue was growing behind us. In my absolute frustration with the lack of recognition and service provided by the staff in this restaurant, our party ended up leaving hungry, and disappointed by the insufficient customer service provided.
We ended up going to another locally based venue, and were acknowledged immediately with polite service, smiles and immediate attention. We were able to enjoy lunch, conduct our meeting and negotiate outcomes whilst being attended to with professionalism and courtesy.
Out of curiosity and also hoping that my experience with this restaurant was a one-off, I went into some other retailers, restaurants, and service agencies in Broome as an “impromptu mystery shopper” and received quite similar standards of service – no acknowledgement, no smile or greeting, rather short service and dealings by staff that clearly did not want to be at work. It was quite disappointing to see that the problem was all too common and obvious in our town.
Discussions with colleagues, friends and other community members about my experiences revealed that these customer experiences are faced by many locals and visitors to our town, and some even commenting that “it was normal”. I was quite disturbed by these comments, but also by the fact that poor customer service has become so normalised in Broome. This experience showed me what a clear difference customer service makes for the reputation of a business and a town. A customer knows if he or she is wanted by how they are received by the business – and if they are not wanted they will leave and not return. Every time this happens the business will subsequently miss out on sales, revenue and profits.
With the release of the discounted fares by Qantas and the efforts conducted by our local tourism bodies to market these growth opportunities, it concerns me that while Broome has beautiful scenery, activities and tourism operators, each case of poor customer service will be a detriment to the potential success these trial flights can bring to the region.
Great customer service comes down to caring. Not only should the business care about the quality of their products and services, but should care even more-so about customer satisfaction. Businesses should take the time to ensure the customer is delivered a product or service that is outstanding and memorable. Businesses who pride themselves on great customer service take great value in creating referrals and building a good reputation, leading to repeat business. This will be important to ensure the success of the efforts made and future development of tourism and retail industries.
Seeing there are inadequacies in this particular yet extremely important area of our town’s reputation, the Chamber in partnership with the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science Entrepreneurs Program are launching the Broome Code of Service Excellence Programme, to assist local businesses to develop and maintain a customer experience that will enhance our tourism industry and confidence with the local community.
BCCI is thrilled to have best selling author, professional speaker and acclaimed business coach Graham Harvey to deliver a high impact and behaviour changing workshop and work with Broome businesses in the development of a Code of Service Excellence Charter, mystery shopper program, evaluation and review process.
Graham has worked with hundreds of businesses in a workshop environment, exploring the customer experience, developing new approaches and implementing strategies that keep organisations moving in the desire direction. Graham’s Design / Deliver / Delight workshop has received widespread acclaim for the way that it has helped businesses start the journey towards truly outstanding customer experiences.
Testimonial received from local providers that have participated in Graham’s workshop are positive and inspiring.
“Graham has a flare for delivering a message that resonates with the reality of the customer experience, particularly regarding hospitality where the ability to engage the guest is even more paramount than it has ever been. I have attended and enjoyed two training sessions with Graham over the past couple of years, including Design! Deliver! Delight! His knowledge can teach us all new things and remind us of things that we thought we already knew but had forgotten to communicate and practice. The Mangrove Hotel has taken many of the strategies discussed into its operating model and the rewards have been clear to see in terms of both staff behavior and guest experience.” Glyn Batten – General Manager, Mangrove Hotel, Broome
“Having personally attended Graham’s Design! Delight! Deliver! Customer experience workshop, I was enlightened by the experience and realised just how important customer service really is to my business and my brand. I found the workshop enjoyable and positive and it was clear by the enthusiasm of all the participants that this was an engaging and interactive “lesson” in the constantly evolving arena of consumer behaviour and expectations. As a result of the workshop I have engaged Graham to undertake a comprehensive report into our executive team to assist in ensuring we are delivering the very best customer experience possible. In the subsequent months, both of my front of house managers have attended the course and I look forward to putting as many staff through this training as possible.” Adam Barnard –Managing Director, ADAMS Coachlines
The launch of Broome’s Code of Service Excellence Programme is Wednesday 18 July 2018 commencing at 1:00pm at the Mercure Hotel Broome.
BCCI are encouraging all businesses in Broome to participate in the local necessary training and establishment of code of excellence charter to assist improving Broome’s reputation and overall customer experience delivery in the region.
Elaine Jolliffe – Chief Executive Officer BCCI