Customer Service: small details that help create a better experience

May 31, 2009

in Tips

Aspirin & Sewing kit

Aspirin & Sewing kit

The following advice won’t make you earn more money but won’t cost you either… and might improve the experience of someone attending to your conference. Small details matter and when they are easy to take care of it’s diabolic not to do so.

It happens often that someone in your audience has a headache or accidentally loses a button of his shirt and come to you asking for help. It is not that they expect you to directly solve their problem but you might know who can.

The first time it happened to me I was working at the customer service area of business conference in Chicago: a tall guy came to me asking where he could find an aspirin. I happened to carry a box as I often suffer of back pain and headache during conferences, so I offered one of mine. His faced automatically changed to a relieved expression as he took the pill.

From that first time I noticed that this situation presents itself frequently so I now always ask my customer service staff to carry some kind of aspirin just in case (and in major events -2,000+ people- someone always asks for it).

(photo from www.indiamart.com)

(photo from www.indiamart.com)

I remember an anecdote told by an ex-colleague from the Brazilian office about helping a client that had accidentally lost a couple of buttons of his shirt by finding a sewing kit and sewing them back. Or the fact that they had special seats with flip writing pads for left handed people (in a 3,000 people conference there were quite a few). The other people present in the room laughed about this but I’m sure that those customers were surely more than satisfied that their special need were taken care of. Besides, the cost of doing so is almost ridiculous compared to the positive impact you obtain when you perform those actions. It shows you really care.

So remember for your next conference: keep some aspirin, sewing kit (those found in the hotel are ok) and think of what other kind of special needs you can address.

  • Virginia

    Or having at least one of your staff fluent in the language of the country you are hosting your conference. It happened to us last year that one of our attendees lost his passport in a taxi cab in one of our large events in Spain, and even though we were all able to communicate in English in different business level, the staff at the taxi company only spoke Spanish.
    Fortunately our new member of team at that time happened to be fluent in Spanish and helped to recover that missing passport with a few local phone calls. Our attending couldn't be happier, when he though he'd spend days in his consulate.
    Since then, he and his company have been participating in most of our events, not only as delegate but as sponsor too.
    Sometimes something so little makes a big difference in a relationship with our clients.

  • Virginia

    Or having at least one of your staff fluent in the language of the country you are hosting your conference. It happened to us last year, that one of our attendees lost his passport in a taxi cab in one of our large events in Spain, and even though we were all able to communicate in English in different business level, the staff at the taxi company only spoke Spanish.
    Fortunately our new member of team at that time happened to be fluent in Spanish and helped to recover that missing passport with a few local phone calls. Our attending couldn’t be happier, when he though he’d spend days in his consulate.
    Since then, he and his company have been participating in most of our events, not only as delegate but as sponsor too.
    Sometimes something so little makes a big difference in a relationship with our clients.

  • Virginia

    Or having at least one of your staff fluent in the language of the country you are hosting your conference. It happened to us last year that one of our attendees lost his passport in a taxi cab in one of our large events in Spain, and even though we were all able to communicate in English in different business level, the staff at the taxi company only spoke Spanish.
    Fortunately our new member of team at that time happened to be fluent in Spanish and helped to recover that missing passport with a few local phone calls. Our attending couldn’t be happier, when he though he’d spend days in his consulate.
    Since then, he and his company have been participating in most of our events, not only as delegate but as sponsor too.
    Sometimes something so little makes a big difference in a relationship with our clients.

  • Stefano Pasquale

    Gianfranco,
    these episodes of your professional real-life clearly demonstrate the validity of Kano model for the explanation of customers satisfaction; basically you demonstrated that, in addition to the must-have factors that make an event a successful one (comfort, security, food availability, …) and that heavily dissatisfy customers if not found available, you clearly delivered the so-called attractive factors that, despite their unavailability do not generally hurt customers, if available they really enhance customer satisfaction.
    For a clearer description of the concept I suggest you this link:
    http://www.12manage.com/methods_kano_customer_s
    and, if possible, to attend to Professor Buganza “New Service Development” course at MIP – the Business School of Milan Politechnic.
    Cheers
    Stefano

  • http://www.gchicco.com Gianfranco Chicco

    @Stefano thanks for the details about Kano's model :-)

  • http://www.gchicco.com Gianfranco Chicco

    @Stefano thanks for the details about Kano's model :-)

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