Easter the Time to Get Cracking On Service Improvements

Have you heard the cute little story about the differences between male and female Easter
Bunnies? A little girl walked into a sweet shop just before Easter and went to the shelf with all the chocolate bunnies. She picked up the first one, examined it carefully, and then put it down again. Then she picked up the second one, and did exactly the same, and repeated the process over and over again. This went on for a while, and the owner watched intrigued.

Eventually, he just couldn’t stand it anymore, so he approached her and asked if she needed any help.

“Well,” she said, “I’m looking for a little boy Easter Bunny, but all I can find is little girls.”

With a puzzled look, he asked, “But why are you looking for a boy?”

“Because little boys always have a little something extra, and that always makes the world of difference,” she replied.

Easter – the time for unwrapping little treats – is ideal for hatching a customer service
revival across our retail and service sectors. But how many businesses will get cracking on service improvements?

The opportunity to ‘Delight Your Customers’ over the holiday has been spotlighted in many of our clients’ businesses, as we look to inspire a service turnaround.

Families have time to browse over holiday weekends. They are unhurried and receptive, creating a big opportunity for shops and service providers hoping to win customers. Without day-by-day pressures, consumers have time to notice the little things, and these
make a huge difference when relationships are being built.

Our Managing Partner, Aki Kalliatakis, notes, “The big benefit for business is that little things don’t have to cost a lot – as long as your people are inspired to make the effort.”

Little service treats include …

  • Remembering your customers and greeting them by name.
  • Asking about their health, hobbies, their family and taking an interest in their lives.
  • Making a remark that shows you remember recent family or personal events that were
    shared in a previous chat.
  • There is never a better excuse to dole out little chocolates than at Easter time.
  • Going to help a customer who has been left waiting and apologising for the delay.
  • A personal touch – e.g. my favourite Bed & Breakfast keeps diabetic jam for their diabetic guests
  • Phoning a client after service delivery to make a genuine enquiry about service quality
    while passing on a personal phone number just in case a problem occurs.

Small, staff-driven but manager initiated interventions are under-estimated by business. Interventions requiring major investment get management’s attention – like the big
increase in training spend, the formalised customer loyalty or frequent buyer programmes and cards, the upgraded call centre, new software, and/or trips to private game reserves for privileged customers.

But big interventions can be tracked and replicated by competitors. Little day-by-
day service ‘treats’ handed out by smiling, service-focused staff can’t be neutralised by competitor activity because they are spontaneous and heartfelt. It’s a low-cost approach, but it’s high on impact and now is the perfect time because Easter is
about new beginnings.

Customers not only have time to notice little things, they also have time to remark on them. Reward South Africa’s thousands of low-paid service heroes with a smile and tell them how much you appreciate their consideration.

Customers have to be encouraged to continue the fight to uplift service standards. We see many examples of shoddy service. When the opposite occurs, tell those exceptional individuals what a difference they’ve made to your day.

By all means, share this little Easter surprise in your retail store, but just about all businesses that have customers can do something. Make a point of mentioning it face to face in your business. The motivational effects can be huge.

Back to Articles and Resources.