I can clearly remember thinking, in 2008 as our country entered the recession, “maybe I’ll finally be able to get some decent service in a restaurant.”
While high employment and rising home prices gave American’s the highest disposable income in history, it made fewer people the motivation to provide great service. After all, with so many people dining out the problem was what to do with everyone waiting for a table rather than worrying about providing your guests great service.
The recession meant fewer people were eating out. A new phenomenon began; employees in the businesses I frequented became more appreciative.
So far I’ve been genuinely impressed with the level of service I’ve received. But, in some instances it’s become too much.
One evening I had dinner with a friend in a high end steak house in Chicago. The kind of place where you expect great service. The servers were attentive, but too much so.
Our server was Ryan and he had two others helping him out. My friend and I were trying to have a conversation. The server team was there every minute with some sort of question. Do you want bread, can I fill your water, can you something else to drink, can I get you more bread, and on and on. It was too much.
I had the same experience in a restaurant for breakfast the next day. Throughout my breakfast my server kept asking me, “do you want more water,” “can I get you anything else,” “is everything ok?” It was nice she was so conscientious but it was too much. (And for the record, why ask someone if they want more water, just grab the pitcher and fill the glass.)
I wonder how many of us are doing the same thing? Technology today has made it so much easier for us to communicate with our customers. Why send email once a week when you can send them several times throughout the day. And, it was one thing when it was only us that were communicating that frequently, today the technology is so easy to use everyone has it, and they are loading your customer’s inbox with hundreds of emails essentially asking, “how is everything,” “can I help you,” “do you need anything else.”
Value is like water, too much is as bad as too little.
One problem is balancing the needs of new customers with long time members. New customers want more and need more while long-time customers can become bored with too much communication. For this, I have a welcome sequence for new members that gives them additional information. Plus, I’ll send additional announcements to new members about the Jump Start Coaching Calls and fewer to longer-term members for whom that benefit may not be as important.
Plus, I work hard at restricting my use of email communication. On Tuesdays, this ezine is all you receive from me. If there is a call coming up you’ll receive a notice on another day of the week. Otherwise, I work to consolidate everything you need into two or three emails a week. It’s still a lot, but I work hard at keeping it restrained.
Do you have a plan for when you distribute emails to your customers? Are you communicating with them too frequently? How can you consolidate important notices and sales offers into a schedule?
What do you think? Do I communicate too frequently? Are there further opportunities to improve? Or have you seen service levels change? Let me know what you think by scrolling to the bottom of the page.