They reckon there are three kinds of weather in Auckland – about to rain, raining, and just rained. It was raining, and raining hard, and the only park was about 300 metres from the main entrance. I was faced with two choices. Wait for the Niagra falls to stop landing on my car and miss the meeting, or sprint like there was no tomorrow, and hopefully dry off in the lobby.
I was off! Puddle! Drain! Sidestep round a forming pond! Almost there…. Dammit! Forgot the iPad! Back round the pond! Reverse sidestep over the drain, leap over the puddle…where are the keys? Oh heck! iPad’s actually under my arm! Around the puddle again! Over the drain! Straight through the pond that is now the size of Taupo with whitecaps forming!. And into the lobby looking like a freshly dunked wine biscuit.
The guy at the front desk was awesome.
“Oh that rain really got you, huh? You are covered!” He laughed. Being the purple dot I laughed and felt like hugging the man. He had sympathised, empathised and noticed me. He cared. He was obviously well versed in the art of customer service. Or was he?
You see his very pleasant yet generic approach suited me, the purple dot who loves attention and wears rain stains like an adventure badge. But what if I’d been a yellow dot, whose appearance must be spot on if they’re to feel good about themselves?. I’d have been crushed if a guy I didn’t know had smiled and joked about how my highly planned appearance had just been destroyed by the weather just minutes before a really important meeting. If I’d been a sensationalist, a blue dot and he’d laughed and smiled at me, there is no doubt I wouldn’t have said a thing and quietly died inside so as not to cause a scene, and then avoided his eye contact for at least the rest of my life.
Yes, he was good for me, the purple dot. But imagine if the man had had the dotting training. How good would it be to be able to identify a customer immediately and talk with them on their wavelength? In their language? How welcome would we all feel straight away?
There are thousands of generic customer service courses out there, but until they teach you how to understand and recognise your customer instantly, are you servicing them, or just following a script?
Do yourself a favour. Get dotted.