Prime the pump
August 21, 2020

Promoting a customer centric culture

Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people. ~ Mary Kay Ash

Last week we revisited The 10-5 Rule and how different variations are widely used to improve friendliness, customer-service, and responsiveness. Today, we look at reputable companies in the USA that have adapted versions of The 10-5 Rule to promote a customer centric culture: Sam Walton, Walmart’s founder instituted the ‘Ten-Foot Attitude’.

Whenever an employee comes within 10 feet of a customer, the employee must look the customer in the eye, greet him, and offer to assist.

Disney World implemented the Disney’s Seven Service Guidelines. Disney parks cast members are encouraged to make eye contact and smile, greet and welcome each and every guest and thank each and every guest.

Marriott International has two guiding principles that employees are trained on to ensure consistent excellent customer service: (i) “15/5 rule: When a guest is within 15 feet their presence should be acknowledged through some means, whether a smile or head nod. Similarly, when a guest is within 5 feet, they should be greeted in an appropriate manner, whether that be a “hello”, “good morning”, or “good evening”.

(ii) L.E.A.R.N.: L – listen to the customer and find out their needs. E – empathize with a customer so they know you are listening and being empathetic. A – apologize if something goes wrong so that the customer knows you are listening, you empathize, and that you’re truly sorry about a problem. R – react to fix the issue. N – notify everyone on the issue so that it doesn’t happen again.”

The Ritz-Carlton hotels franchised a policy called The 10/5 Way. This policy set their brand apart from others. It ensures that each of their employee make people feel good. After all, they are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.

In his book “Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change,” author Shawn Archer shares the story of how Ochsner Health System adopted The 10/5 Way. As you might imagine, many doctors were doubtful and thought that the initiative was a waste of time. According to Archer, the instruction to smile created better health-related outcomes, greater patient satisfaction and substantially increased their bottom line.

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