Charming your patrons off the couch

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customer-service_webIn our role as a consultant, sometimes we get to visit some great places and work on some really exciting projects. A few weeks ago we visited a town called Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast for one of those really exciting projects. Merimbula is a sleepy retiree haven off the Snowy Mountains Highway just past Bega (yes where the cheese comes from) and is probably most famous for its oysters, which we were lucky enough to sample.

Despite its distance from Canberra and Melbourne, it is a magnate for local tourism and after spending three nights in its sleepy enclaves I can say that I understand its charm. But what did this “charm” boil down to? Well it wasn’t the quaint town centre, quirky cafes or even the beautiful beaches; it was the customer service which was imbued in frontline staff throughout the town from the retailers to the clubs and restaurants. It was almost like everyone in the town had been given the customer service “How to Guide” in school.

The thing is, good customer service shouldn’t have been quite so surprising but there was just something so disarming about their wholesome delivery.

We spent the weekend talking about it and swapping stories about the friendliness of staff, the big welcoming smiles and the humble genuity of the service delivery.

Hospitality venues need to be sincere places where service superstars thrive and where customer service is genuine. To me customer service is about feeling like I belong in a venue from the moment I walk in the door. When patrons choose to spend their valuable time and money with you instead of Biggest Loser, Tom Waterhouse or Facebook it is important to find a way to thank them and to create a connection to your venue so that next time it is not a difficult decision to get off the couch.

If you’re a good salesperson, you can sell anything to anyone once – but it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you will be given the opportunity to keep selling time and time again. So smile and bring out the charm because, believe it or not, there are still some things technology simply cannot do.

Find out how you can improve your venue’s customer service by contacting Samantha Litfin on (07) 3878 9355 or email

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