What can be more pleasant than receiving gifts?
Probably, only giving gifts.
That is what the management of the company 4Service, the largest provider of the Mystery Shopping services in Russia, thought when starting the project "Just because!" for their Moscow clients. The project included organizing the delivery of fresh flowers, colorful and bright as in spring, to more than 40 offices of Moscow. The main feature of this project is that it was carried out in the middle of April and wasn’t connected with any significant dates or holidays, when such corporate gifts are traditionally prepared.
“We have a vision of what the best service must be,” reveals Eugeniy Lobanov, the head of customer service for 4Service. “We believe that Russia can have the best service, and we want our clients to know 4Service ideology better and to share our secrets and long-term experience in perfecting service. After all it is possible to achieve a high level of service by observing only a few rules. Our first project "Just because!" illustrates the first principle of the company’s ideology that service has to be sincere and free. For example, if the seller in a shop has greeted you friendly, it doesn't mean that you have to buy something. Service doesn't demand anything in return: it just is.
In the restaurant, hotel and many other spheres of business there is the concept "compliment". It isn't just a way to express a liking for the client, it is an opportunity to allow him to feel special by giving him a discount, or a cup of coffee “on the house”, or putting a bunch of flowers on the table. A compliment can also solve minor issues or induce a client to return to this company more than once, to leave tips for the waiter, to tell friends and acquaintances about the company and thus to attract new visitors. Of course, it's not a panacea and if at other stages of service there are problems, a compliment won't save the situation. However a frustrated client may be softened by receiving a little more service than expected. But, unfortunately, this simple and efficient trick is often forgotten by those who work strictly according to price and offer the client only that s/he wants to receive …”
What is the second rule of excellent service? Continuing his revelation of "company secrets", Eugeniy Lobanov told us about his plans and ideas for the nearest future:
“Next time we want to tell our clients that service is a reflection of ourselves: it can be the way we want to see it. The first step is a trial, the Moscow clients are our "pilot group" and we have already seen that the project inspires a positive response. In the next wave we plan to include all our clients in Russia.
But that is another story, and for now…”
The expectation of something light and joyful reigned among the service managers of 4Service since morning of the first day of the event. Among the emotions were excitement, a general agitation, and attempts to guess how this or that client will understand the gift. After all, with every client we have personal relations, not always ideal but definitely important, and each deviation from the standards of business communication can be interpreted differently. Besides, the gifts were chosen and wrapped at a friendly staff meeting and each employee feels today's solemnity…
By the way, we did the express delivery on our own. The couriers, Mystery Shoppers of the company, described the process of gift delivery from the "battlefield":
“I introduced myself as ‘Good mood delivery from 4Service’. At first the client was confused, but after seeing the flowers, was even more amazed and thanked me with a smile!”
The employees of 4Service breathed a sigh of relief and rejoiced, for the sake of such a reaction from even one addressee it was worth making such efforts! After all giving smiles and positive emotions is always so pleasant!
And the first responses were not long in coming: phone calls and letters from clients with unusual and informal contents added a positive mood in the working atmosphere. "You don't stop surprising!", "Thanks, it was very pleasant to receive such a gift!", "And what are the flowers about?"
And the joyful managers answered with the phrase which has become the second motto of the company 4Service while preparing for the project: