Companies often look at the big-ticket items when they want to improve customer satisfaction. While this is fantastic, the little things also matter.
Something as simple as a name can really hurt efforts to improve customer satisfaction. Take, for example, the Dubai Airport.
The airport has an official greeting service for arriving passengers called “Marhaba.”
Marhaba is staffed with attractively dressed men and women who meet designated passengers and then escort them through immigration and customs.
Marhaba prints long lists of individuals who are scheduled to receive this special welcome service, which is designed to improve customer satisfaction. These lists are located at the bottom of an escalator, just at the point where travelers must step off with their carry-on bags and move quickly away from the crush of passengers descending behind them.
At that very point, where time is short and attention is already diverted, Marhaba places a sign full of names, printed in THICK, BLACK, BLOCK CAPITAL letters with hardly any space at all between them.
The names are difficult to read when one is standing still, and almost impossible when the escalator is moving.
If you know Marhaba service has been arranged for you, then you must pause to reconfirm.
If you are not sure, or don’t know what the sign is about, you also pause. This results in a gaggle of people stopping, pausing, looking and wondering in front of a sign that is hard to read, at a critical point in the flow of passengers through one of the best airports in the world.
A change in the lettering style would be so simple to do and would improve customer satisfaction. By using an upper and lower case serif font, passengers could more easily read the signs and quickly see their names.
I have offered this suggestion several times to the friendly Marhaba staff to help them improve customer satisfaction. Each time they agree it would be a good idea, but then smile and say, “It’s always been like that.” (That’s a bad reason not to make a good improvement.)
Key Learning Point To Improve Customer Satisfaction
The big things count in business and in life: quality products, fast delivery, friendly and competent staff. But little things count, too. And little things can make a big difference to help you improve customer satisfaction.
Action Steps To Improve Customer Satisfaction
Ask your frontline staff what “little things” upset your customers. What “silly questions” do customers ask day after day? What complaints do your staff hear over and over again? What causes your customers frustration, confusion and anger? Find it. Then fix it to improve customer satisfaction.
PS: Two months after I sent this suggestion to the airport, the Perception was exactly the same….
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Copyright, Ron Kaufman. Used with permission. Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling “Uplifting Service” book and founder of Uplifting Service. To enjoy more customer service training and service culture articles, visit UpliftingService.com.
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