The “Pickle” of Good Customer Service

Chamber Staff - Meredith Sopko

Meredith Sopko
Director of Marketing and Communications
Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce

This article originally published as a “Community Perspectives” column in The Sheridan Press, June 1, 2013

Last week the Sheridan County Chamber, along with PeAk Consulting, hosted one of our bi-monthly Chamber workshops on customer service. It was a packed room, with 26 people in attendance representing about 24 different businesses.

To open the training, the participants were asked to share a good customer service encounter they had experienced with a local business.

Well, first of all, out of the 26 stories shared there was not one duplicate business mentioned, which is something notable in and of itself. But the other thing that happened was as people were talking about a business, others would chime in and agree or share a similar experience they had.

As business owners, employees,or even consumers, we are all aware of the effects that good or bad customer service can have at the moment, but I think what we sometimes overlook is the lasting effect. It is said that 8 out of 10 people will share their negative experiences with 8 to 10 other people.

Pickle JarStacia Skretteberg, who facilitated the training, shared a video hosted by Bob Farrell who owns a successful chain of restaurants. In the video, he shared a story about a letter he received from a long-term customer who was unhappy because at his last visit to one of the restaurants, he asked for an extra pickle and the waitress told him there would be a charge for it even though there had never been a charge before. The moral of the video was “give ’em the pickle,” or try to make your customers happy.

Of course, there are going to be those times when no matter what we do, the customer is not going to be happy. But giving our customers even the smallest “pickle” can make a huge difference.

For the month of May in the Chamber online newsletter, we talked about Hospital Pharmacy and the exceptional customer service they provide. After hearing what was said in the customer service workshop, it is apparent that Sheridan businesses overall have a very high standard for customer service.

There is no higher compliment a business can receive than a customer sharing their good experience. Now that is a good “pickle.”

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