This past Sunday hubby and I spent the afternoon at the beach.
As the sun was setting in the evening, it got rather chilly (well, chilly according to Southern California standards) and we strolled out on the pier to get something hot to drink.
We stopped at a coffee & tea stand where two young girls were offering all sorts of hot drinks, and after some discussion back and forth, hubby and I agreed to go for the cocoa.
As I placed the order, I was faced with another dilemma: “With vanilla or hazelnut?” asked the girl who was taking our orders. Ouch. Difficult choice — because I’m crazy about both!
I weighed it over in my mind for several seconds – until I heard hubby behind me: “vanilla for me”…and I decided to follow suit. Not for any reason other than that we wanted to make it all the way out on the pier to see the sun set from there, and the clock was ticking (meaning, “hubby was getting impatient”).
So I placed my order for two hot chocolates with vanilla.
“Good choice,” the girl smiled sincerely. She passed the order on to her friend, the drink-maker.
“Good choice”, I thought to myself. I smiled back at the girl and happily paid her for the drinks. Content that I had made a good choice…
While we were waiting in great anticipation for our drinks, a young man stepped up to the cart next to us and ordered a cup of tea. “Which kind would you like?” the girl – the order-taker – asked. “We have black, green, raspberry, spice, ginger, lemon, earl gray, mint, and chamomile.”
“Uh…” the man looked a bit bewildered now. (I sympathized!)
He finally replied, “uh, green, I guess…?”
The girl looked at him for a moment. “Good choice,” she smiled warmly. She then passed the order on to her friend.
Now, suddenly, the man was grinning. He felt good. Happy that he had made a good choice. He reached for his wallet.
As girl number two, the drink-maker, handed me my two cups of regular, extra hot cocoa with vanilla flavor, I chuckled to myself.
That girl…the first girl…she knew something about sales. She knew a thing or two about making her customers feel good. Every choice, of course, that the customer made, was a “good choice”. Ha!
And yet she wasn’t being disingenuous – not at all. You could tell she meant what she said…that she really thought the choice was a “good choice”.
See, here’s the thing: whether vanilla is better than hazelnut, or whether green tea beats black, well, that’s entirely a matter of preference. There’s no right or wrong there.
And by making her customers feel good about their decision this way, the set the stage for the best possible customer experience of her products.
Finally…and this really is the key here: The girl knew her green tea was “good”. As was the black, the raspberry, the spice, the ginger, the lemon, the earl gray, the mint, and the chamomile!
She could genuinely say that all the choices were “good” choices. Because all she was selling were “good” products…! Get it?
Excellent products that you stand behind 110%. Giving your customer a variety of choices, and great bang for their buck. Letting them make their selection based on their preference, and then, once they’ve done so, affirming their choice as good …
That, in my mind, is superior customer service. Even if you’re selling something as basic as hot chocolate.
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