Most of us would have used Generosity Marketing by now. This is commonly used to attract new clients by giving away low cost items with a perceived value for the consumer. But what about generous service? This is the same concept as Generosity Marketing, but with a five-degree tweak.
Recently, my wife and I went to a cheese and wine bar with some friends for a lovely catch up. Unfortunately, the service was poor. The staff were all over the shop (except where they needed to be!). The service was very disjointed with a new face coming to serve us at every step of the service, usually with incorrect information or the incorrect order. It was stressful for me to watch.
As a customer, I was disappointed. But the worst element of this snapshot is that the staff worked harder than they needed to. Much harder! They were so stressed trying to figure out their latest problem when we left that they didn’t even notice us leave.
All is forgivable, and we had a good time. But we won’t be going back. There are two reasons, with the first being that it was not an enjoyable environment to treat ourselves in. And, secondly, I don’t think they’ll be in business for too long.
The killer blow in this experience, is that the staff were focused more on encouraging us to buy an extra plate of cheese or charcuterie rather than making us feel comfortable and giving us that little bit extra. They could have been a lot more generous with their attention. In this case, we didn’t want free stuff or extra pours or tastes (even though that would have been nice). We didn’t want a cheaper menu. We didn’t want convenience either.
We wanted a generous amount of attention. To be served by one person, with consistency, and sensitivity. An example of this is to be given table water before having to ask for it. Or when we were promised crackers with our board, needed to be prompted, and still didn’t arrive at the table for another 10 minutes. The list goes on…
The lack of attention continued with the staff’s inability to keep track of our dining cycle resulting in no farewell or thank you for our patronage. This experience stayed with me.
The question we all need to ask ourselves is: When serving customers, how can we make the experience a generous one? This is a great question to ask ourselves and our teams. No matter what industry we are in, this focus can be a huge opportunity. The value of giving that little extra to the customer will escalate the brand image, create connection, and result in loyalty.
If margins are tight (as I assume they were for the aforementioned establishment) for product, then are you able to utilise supplier give away’s? Samples, old, or slow selling items that may be costing more in storage space than what it is worth – these are all opportunities to be generous.
But the real opportunity is to utilise service as a point of generosity. This is the most lasting and memorable part of the business that a consumer takes home. The reason for this is that time is something none of us have. We are all busy. So when someone takes time caring for us and gives us that little extra attention, it means so much.
Be generous. It not only makes for good business, but it is much more enjoyable for the team, and when done well is less stressful too.
Paul Farina, Team Performance Specialist, www.paulfarina.com.au