Customer Serivce

Customer Service Hangover

I just returned from a long weekend in Bali, Indonesia. The place is a tropical paradise – it’s devastatingly beautiful there, and the people, equally so. I spent just four days and three nights there and during my brief sojourn I was blown away by the level of customer service I experienced.

From the moment I stepped foot off the plane and into Ngurah Rai airport I was greeted by smiling friendly faces directing me where to go. Upon leaving the airport, I was met by my hotel driver, Jumbo. He welcomed me to his beautiful country, put a lei around my neck and cracked a few jokes. He showed genuine interest in where I was from, what I wanted to do while in Bali and offered a myriad of suggestions of things to do during my stay.hotel-staff

He noted that my hotel room would not be ready until 2pm – two hours from when I arrived. Rather than leaving me to languish in the lobby, he offered to drive me around Bali and show me some of the sights. The most notable venue was the home of Luwak Coffee – a coffee that has been eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet. For the record, it’s very smooth and delicious. Take a moment to pause and think: when was the last time you received this level of service in Australia?

Another customer service triumph was in a local restaurant. The waitress had just finished serving another patron when I caught her attention. She walked over and I asked her if I could place an order. She said “Certainly, just let me grab my order pad”. Now in Australia, I probably wouldn’t see the waitress for another 10-15 minutes. Before I could roll my eyes, she had returned ready to take my order. It sounds small, but this kind of on-the-ball service is a rarity.

Finally, the pièce de résistance: my hotel’s ‘breakfast box’. Staying in Santi Mandala in Ubud, I was a good hour away from the airport. My departing flight to Perth was due to leave at 7am, so I had to be up and out the door at 5am. One of the reception staff noticed this when I checked in and arranged a small box filled with breakfast goods for me to eat on my way to the airport as the restaurant would not be open this early. I was blown away. I didn’t have to ask for it or even hint at it. It was simply provided. Needless to say, it left a lasting impression and here I am telling you about it.

Bali is a beautiful place and it’s made more beautiful by its kind, giving people. They’re always smiling and always so happy to have you in their country. The pride they have in their country, their work and their culture is what lifts the experience into the upper echelons of customer service mastery. They give more but with so much less, which begs the question: what can you do to bring this sort of attentive service into your business?

– Lachy

What’s In A Name?

People love hearing their own name. It’s one of the earliest nouns we’re conscious of and hearing it actually activates certain parts of our brain. How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1936, almost 80 years ago, and even then Dale Carnegie could identify how much of an impact using someone’s name could have.

At Messages On Hold we like using names. It relaxes people. From a customer service point of view, it’s a simple and effective way of building rapport with our clients.

Of course, saying a person’s name when we’re directly communicating with them is the ideal use of a name, but we wanted to find a better way of taking advantage of the name game.

Enter Shane Warne.Shane

We sponsored Shane for a few years and loved having him on board as a member of the Messages On Hold team.

Our Managing Director Kym Illman knew having Shane associated with Messages On Hold was a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the quirky nature of our brand but he also identified a way to make our clients names sound even sweeter – by having Shane say them!

When we welcome a new client or employee to the Messages On Hold family, they get a phone call from Shane. It’s a friendly call, just to let them know they’re appreciated and we’re excited to work with them!

Unfortunately, due to Shane’s busy schedule we couldn’t have him dropping everything to make a quick phone call whenever we needed him, so Kym came up with a clever plan.

To boost our odds, we collated a list of the 500 most common first names in our database and the 300 most common surnames. Then we asked Shane to record the message we’d like to send all our clients, plus the list of names we’d come up with.  Now when we welcome a new client or employee, there’s a good chance we can send them a personalised, friendly message from Shane Warne including their two favourite words!

Not only is this a fantastic way of making our much-appreciated clients and staff members feel welcome, it’s also a great marketing tool. I know when I got my phone call when I started at Messages On Hold, I told everyone that my new employer had called me and managed to get Shane Warne to say hello to me, personally! The idea is that the more you blow your clients away with interesting touches like that, the more likely they are to share the experience with their associates. Using names in a unique manner is one way we can keep building great relationships and ensure our brand continues to be aligned with quirky, fun and personal marketing messages.

– Sophie