Home > Business, Examples > EXCUSE ME!! EXCUSE ME!! I NEED A MANAGER!!



Do you walk the walk, better yet does your entire organization?

I apologize in advance as my story telling abilities are far from compelling and/or engaging enough to pull you to the edge of your seat or have you hanging on my every word. I also may have left off a few colorful verbs, nouns, pronouns or adjectives out, strictly for reducing word count only.

We all at one point in time or another have experienced a situation or customer service meltdown similar to the one below:  

I was visiting a well-known food establishment the other day when a customer in the drive-thru lane began yelling through the window. Something to the effect: “EXCUSE ME!! EXCUSE ME!! I NEED A MANAGER!! EXCUSE ME!! I NEED A MANAGER!!”. The manager on duty approached the window and tried his best to calm the customer and defuse the situation. He then turned to the associate on duty and said “WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?” The associate replied “I TOLD HER TO SHUT THE (INSERT CENSORED WORD HERE) UP!!” The exchange between customer, manager and associate continued for another 5 minutes or so, as my food order sat under the ultra red heat lamps and cooked on.

As I sat there eating my now rubber sandwich I began to wonder if what I had experienced was truly this particular companies Customer Service Model, Value Prop or statement of Customer Centricity. I being the tech savvy geek that I am not, reached for my handy dandy, jack of all trades, master of none, smart phone and searched the company’s website for anything related to a customer service statement or value proposition. This is the quote that caught my eye: “YOU WILL ALSO SEE CHANGES IN OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE MODELS AS WE WORK TO CREATE MORE MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES AND TO DELIVER UNPARALLELED CONVENIENCE” Well they did in fact do that, I mused, I cannot speak for the drive-thru patron, but I know my experience was most memorable and my convenience unparalleled.

AuthorI then began to think about the origins of these phrases. Phrases generated in conference rooms, boardrooms or on the desktop computers of Sales/Marketing Managers. Phrases handed down to the Minions like a mother bird feeding her young only to be regurgitated as the standard operating beliefs and procedures of all company employees, from janitor to president. I thought about my own organization. Does every employee at Optima walk the walk, talk the talk, and now wholeheartedly embraces the concepts that I spew as un-paralleled convenience, memorable customer experiences and an unmatched quality product with quick delivery? I hoped so, but became saddened knowing the reality of just how impossible of a task that would be. How can organizations such as Optima get 100 percent buy in to the phrase, belief and teachings of customer centricity? Is Optima’s clients no better off than the customer at the drive through window?

Then I remembered an internal email that was being passed around from our Inspection Supervisor Heather Reeves. She was thanking another employee for creating a contraption to hang infinity frame and graphic on a testing wall prior to shipping. This new thingamabob would not only help insure a proper fit of graphic to frame but more importantly, give the inspector a way of looking at the end product through our customers eyes. Hanging the graphic on the wall allows the inspector to spot flaws or inconsistencies that may have been missed in the past. This also allows for a more professional shipping photo to be taken prior to being packaged. In the past these units were laid out on a tables where it was difficult to insure fit and the shipping photograph was shot at an angle producing an image that was of use to no one. Then it dawned on me that the practice, belief and procedures of great customer service or customer experiences do not flow from the top down, but from the bottom up. Heather reminded me that the culture and belief in improving the products and services offered by Optima is derived from its employees and filtered up to our management. She is a true testament that Optima strives in all ways to walk the walk and talk the talk.

Share your most inspiring customer service experience in the comments below.

About the Author

Bob Moser is a Strategic Account Manager at Optima Graphics.
He has been in the Trade Show industry since 1998.

  1. July 10, 2015 at 11:47 am

    When the folks who meet the client face to face truly buy into the words that are hopefully coming from and being lived out in management, it is truly a most beautiful, win-win-win situation.

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