Service is a Contact Sport

I was talking to a client and she was lamenting the fact that she had yet to find a great sushi place. As you may or may not know, I’m kind of a foodie; my girlfriend and I love to try different restaurants. I gave her the name of my favorite sushi place, and then called and made her a reservation. It was something I would do for a co-worker, friend, or family member, but this just happened to be a client. And the client was thrilled. She loved the sushi and appreciated the gesture, and is now going out of her way to recommend Optimal. A great tuna roll led to a great referral source and it made me think: What about this situation was special?

The answer? A culture of service. Everybody at Optimal likes people — and everyone involved in the client experience is committed to learning about our clients. And not just from a business perspective. We want to know if they have kids, what kind of food they like, what sports they like to watch, etc. And then we act on this information. Not to create referral sources (although that is often a bonus benefit) and not to talk business, but because we enjoy client contact and getting to know about people. It is part of Optimal’s culture — and it is what makes us different. Providing superior service is a contact sport – and not for the faint of heart. It requires interpersonal aptitude, training, dedication, and commitment. It’s also fun to watch when it is done well.

What do you think?

  • Does providing great service require an interpersonal relationship?
  • Have you had an excellent service experience because an organization got to know you?
  • Do you think superior service can be provided if the organization does not know anything about you? Can you share an example?

Post your response--and check back for a reply!