We must, must, must be continuously talking about customer service and why it is so important.

By Steve Moran

A few weeks ago I was at a conference and had just a little free time to do something. I knew there was a nearby assisted living community that was part of a larger care campus. It’s owned and managed by someone who is passionate about going the extra mile for residents and prospects . . . .

The Non-Experience

I walked through the front door of the above mentioned really high quality assisted living community and found two people at the front desk. I explained that I was in town attending a conference and just wanted to take a quick peek at their community.

The Response:

“We don’t allow people to just walk through the community without someone accompanying them.” (This was a good idea. It creates a safe space for residents and staff.)

“You can have a seat over there but I am not sure when someone will have time to come show you around.” (At that point she sort of reached for the phone to call someone, but it was clear she didn’t want to do even that.)

“I am busy doing training here.” (She pointed to what I believe was a new receptionist.)

At that point I gave up and bowed out saying . . . “I will come back later” and left.  

Why This Happened

I confess I don’t know for sure why this happened, but I am speculating there were 3 reasons:

  1. The building has no vacancies so the need to promote the building is low.
  2. It was not her job and so I was just a problem to her.
  3. She was in the middle of something else and I was interrupting the thing that was the most important thing in her life at that particular moment and she wanted to get through the stuff she needed to do and not be bothered and I was a bother.

The Big Challenge

Big ChallengeThis was just plain a service failure. It was a failure in an organization that is really really serious about having a culture of serving people way above and beyond the basics. I mean I just can’t tell you how serious this company is about this not happening.

Yet it happened . . . .  

So the challenge is that we must, must, must be continuously talking about customer service and why it is so important. We need to be talking about how much fun it is to interact with new people. We need to make sure these obvious things get talked about and thought about over and over again.  

What are you doing to keep these service failures from happening in your community?