Customer service is about creating value. One form of value is offering your customers an amenity that they might not get from your competitor. Merriam-Webster defines an amenity as, “something that conduces to comfort, convenience or enjoyment.” Most people associate amenities as something you might get at a hotel or from belonging to a private club. You don’t have to be a country club to offer “member-like” amenities.
You have probably been to a restaurant that offered mints as you were leaving. These are usually found in a bowl at the host/hostess stand. Some restaurants use this amenity to separate themselves from others. My friends at Tony’s restaurant in St. Louis, MO offer you homemade chocolate mints, brought to your table at the end of the meal. I doubt you remember the mint you grab out of a basket on the way out of most restaurants, but you most likely will never forget the delicious homemade mints from Tony’s.
Many hotels will put a piece of chocolate on your nightstand in the evening. The Double Tree Hotel chain gives you warm chocolate chip cookies when you check in. That amenity separates them from their competitors.
Some of the nicer automobile dealerships have enhanced their waiting rooms to include amenities such as flat screen TV’s, free coffee, soft drinks, Internet service and more. Given a choice, where would you rather wait for your car to be serviced?
What value-added “extras” do you offer your customers that they might not get from a competitor? Brainstorm ways to deliver amenities that will take your customer service experience to another level.