Making Your Service Memorable

Let’s talk about outstanding service. That’s the rare commodity in this country. Americans have forgotten what good service is. People around the world have forgotten what good service is. And I’m telling you, if you want to outperform the competition, don’t have just good service, make your service memorable; service people will talk about.

Watch the video or read the transcript below to learn Don’s thoughts on memorable service.

There’s a company in Freeport, Maine called L. L. Bean. I’m from Maine so I’m very familiar with L. L. Bean. If you don’t know L. L. Bean, it’s a store that is dedicated to outfitting the outdoorsman.

The store dates back to the early 1900’s. Bean is known for very outstanding and legendary customer service. If you go to their website, you’ll find that the original L. L. Bean’s name was Leon Leonwood.

Leon Leonwood Bean never ever missed an opportunity to improve service. It was basically a catalog company, but people stopped by the store at all hours of day and night, hunters and other people. So he put in a night bell. That night bell would let them call a watchman or even call him. He’d come open the store.

He went a step further: in 1951, he threw away the keys. He took all the locks off the doors and said, “Bean will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We threw away the keys. There are no locks on this place.”

There’s a sign inside the store written by L. L. Bean himself called “What is a Customer.” I want you to read this and think about your own service. It says:

A customer is the most important person ever in this company, in person or by mail. A customer is not dependent upon us, we are dependent upon him. A customer is not an interruption of our work, he is the purpose of our work. We’re not doing him a favor by serving him, he is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so. A customer is not someone to argue with or match wits with, nobody ever won an argument with a customer. A customer is a person who brings us his wants. It’s our job to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves.

L. Bean, Freeport, Maine

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* This podcast first appeared on the Don Connelly 24/7 learning center, in the Best Practices section.

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