In the Forbes article “Four Seasons' Customer Service: Consulting The Systems Behind The Click Of A Hotel Door”, Micah Solomon states that the minimal details say a lot about an organisation and its excellence regarding customer service. Four Seasons is renowned as one of the most customer centric companies in the word. Their training and customer focused culture is recognised in their industry circles as extending beyond the standards of hospitality to offer a service that no one else can.
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In this article, Micah identifies what is important for the hotel chain by exploring the impeccable standards implemented by Four Seasons. The company is rightfully a leader in customer service through its focus on the small details; like the sound of a closing door, to the employees’ focus on the surroundings; tasks that go beyond the employee’s direct responsibility and the company’s ongoing effort to create minimal disturbance to its customers when staying in their hotels. Four Seasons implements what Micah calls a Customer Service System, meaning “a set of actions that a business executes consistently over time to emotionally engage the customer and make the experience of doing business with them warmer, faster, easier, or better.”
The truth is that it is possible to apply the Four Seasons’ set of rules to your own business:
1. Auditory awareness: you need to jump into your customers’ shoes and understand how they feel. Your company needs to be able to identify the sensations and emotions associated with every interaction within your company.
2. Cross-functional, purpose-driven behavior from your employees: your company needs to increase the potential of each one of your employees and demystify not only their own tasks but also the tasks of other departments.
3. The scheduling/discretion standard: if you want to be a customer centric company, you need to be able to perform your services when it best suits your client and not yourself.
Consider if your company is able to deliver a consistent and ongoing customer service system? What is lacking? Are you focusing on your customers and delivering your services for them or for yourself? We know at Proto Partners that the first step when defining a new customer centric strategy is to understand your customers and focus on their feelings when interacting with your company. We understand that not every company has a Four Seasons-like culture that easily allows them to adapt and deliver the best service, but we are sure that we can assist you in discovering solutions that will help both your business and your customers.