As 2018 drew to a close, I accelerated my efforts to catch up with friends before the turn of the new year. My time at the Peranakan Place was no different except for one gesture that caught me off guard.
Our lunch ritual was the same as always. We placed our orders; the choice of the day being the rich Nyonya Laksa, and we engaged in great conversation during the meal before moving on to dessert. You see, the Nyonya Laksa was delicious but we deliberately left some behind to leave room for their mouth-watering desserts.
We carried on with our conversation as we waited for our dessert, only to be stopped short by one of the chefs, Danny. With concern written all over his face, he said he was from the kitchen and noticed that we did not finish our Laksa. After hesitating, he asked “May I know if there is a problem with my Laksa?” At that moment I was both surprised and impressed by his gesture. He cared enough and opted to approach us, embracing the high possibility of negative feedback, for an opportunity to improve. We assured him all was well and walked away relieved. Nonetheless, his gesture lingered with me.
Customer service is a $350 Billion a year industry.(1) Businesses understand that a positive customer experience will lead to a higher rate of customer retention, satisfaction, and ultimately revenue. As a strategy, customer service has become increasingly complex as businesses innovate and juggle new technology such as, multi-channeling, robotics, and self-service interfaces, to create the ultimate customer experience. Such strategy is absolutely necessary for a business to thrive in the world today.
Yet, in the midst of new technology, it is important that we do not lose sight of business fundamentals such as, employee engagement and the human touch. Care is a critical element of engagement. Simply put, does your employees care enough to go the extra mile for your business? It is the positive emotional connection that your employees have for your business that will resonate with your customers. Care is the intangible elixir that keeps your customers coming back.
I am more than willing to dine in this restaurant again simply because they demonstrated they care. Wouldn’t you do the same?
1.Blake Morgan, “Customer Service Is A $350 Billion Industry, And It's A Mess” https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2017/09/25/customer-service-is-a-350b-industry-and-its-a-mess/#24886fcd11be