July 28, 2020

The Pleasant Surprise of Exceptional Customer Service


Yesterday morning I took my daughter Alex to get a COVID test. She was experiencing some mild systems, so as advised, we headed to the testing facility at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

COVID Testing

After going through several checkpoints, we arrived at the testing station. The health care professional had her name written on her protective coat. She introduced herself by saying, ‘Hi, I’m Elise and I will be doing your test today’. I didn’t expect a first name introduction and it came as a pleasant surprise. Especially considering the production line nature of the testing. Elise then went on to ask if it was our first time being tested, which we confirmed. She immediately responded with a friendly, ‘Welcome’. It may have been a bit tongue in cheek, but it was with the same energy and enthusiasm you would expect when walking into a hotel. Alex responded in a similar fashion with, ‘Thank you, it’s lovely to be here’, which made us all laugh. Subsequently, Elise told us that she hopes to make what can be an unpleasant experience as friendly as possible. Before we drove off, she kept the experience going by adding, ‘Well, feel free to come back at any time’.

Be Memorable for the Right Reasons

I’m sharing this with you because exceptional customer service is not what I was expecting during this experience. When undertaking any form of medical test where a positive outcome is not desirable, your mind is not typically focussed on customer service. As it was unexpected, it was memorable. For this reason, it resulted in me sharing this positive story with you.

However, the same works in reverse. When you do expect customer service and don’t get it, it will also be notable for all the wrong reasons. Consequently, customers are just as likely to share stories about a negative experience.

So, here is a challenge for you. The next time you interact with a customer, what can you do that goes beyond what is expected so it is memorable for all the right reasons?