Service Excellence Baked In
by Susan Keane Baker
Zingerman’s, an Ann Arbor Michigan based deli, has cracked the code on how to build a stellar reputation for quality and service excellence. Ah… I can hear you now: “But Susan, we’re saving lives here. We’re not running a deli.”
You’re right. You’re not running a deli. But let’s face it – the competition is heating up. So perhaps there are a few recipes from Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service worthy of your consideration.
Zingermans: “We want every guest to leave their interaction with you feeling as though they were the best thing that happened to you that day. If you’re not sure you’ve convinced them of this, then be more enthusiastic.”
Consider: Your patient knows she’s not your only patient, but could she feel like she’s your favorite patient? Help colleagues be more enthusiastic by using improv at your next staff meeting. Create some typical scenarios and ask associates to demonstrate in role play their ability to match energy levels and vocabulary. This entertaining skill-building activity creates a memorable meeting for your associates.
Zingerman’s Guiding Principle: “We understand that our actions have an impact on our customers. We retain the flexibility to make exceptions to our rules when it is in the best interest of our guests to do so. We do not hold our guests responsible for not being familiar with our systems.”
Consider: How do you know which rules can be bent? Ask yourself, “If this were my closest friend or family member, what would I do right now to help him or her?”
A final thought:
Is insufficient parking a perceived barrier to service excellence for your organization? When Zingermans opened, they had no parking lot. Today, they are nationally recognized and still have…no parking lot.