Services and customer orientation
Usually I don’t blog here about personal topics. But as some friends know, I was some days ago in the united states – to be more precise, at the west coast. I visited the cities San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I was a great trip and I enjoyed the cities, the landscape (Grand Canyon) and a lot more.
To be honest, one of the most things which impressed me on the trip was the service and customer orientation of the staff in the hotels, restaurants or taxis. I think there is a gap between what Europe (specially Switzerland) and the USA regarding services and customer orientation. The old world – or Europe – could learn one or more things from the USA.
In the following chapters I try to describe some experiences and conclusion about my experiences during the trip.
When I did the helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon, the whole service chain (chauffeur from the hotel, the pilot, the service staff) was just perfect and everything works. They know what they are doing and how the whole process works.
It’s a great experience for a customer when he feels, when a service provider has everything under control and his a master at what he’s doing. Such an experience builds also trust and the customer will return again.
This point is where I think the biggest gap between Europe and the USA is. For example at Starbucks they ask you for your first name so they call you when they finished the coffee or bagels. In Switzerland for example you have to guess if the coffee which was finished is for you or not.
One of the most important things to do as a service provider is to make the customer happy. For that you have to build trust and make him feel safe. To build trust, the customer has to know you, so it isn’t unprofessional to speak not only about things which are work related.
It was a great experience to see another way of customer orientation. But there were also some problems, which also exists in Europe. As a service provider you need very good and competent staff. Unfortunately, in some hotels I met a concierge, which wasn’t able to help or understand my need really. And that is what destroy trust, which is unfortunately a really fragile thing.