Why country people provide better customer service than city people.
Often during my service excellence training sessions I get asked this question; "Do you think that country people provide better customer service than city people?" I love that question. Having lived in Western Victoria (Warracknabeal) for the first 24 years of my life, I have a pretty good experience of giving and receiving country style customer service. You could say that it was my customer service training ground.
24 years later and my customer service experiences have expanded to......well.....the world. In my free time I've enjoyed lots of overseas travel and my business has taken me around Australia and across the ditch to educate and motivate city and country people to provide excellent customer service. So, do people in Perth provide better service than Portland? Do I feel more important in a cafe in Stawell than in South Yarra? Would I rave more about the service in Auckland or Ararat? Who does it best - city or country people?
Like it or not, country based businesses have the edge. They have a priceless marketing advantage that costs them nothing and one that city based businesses simply don't have. It's a perception of service excellence and you've probably searched for it and maybe experienced it. People have been known to drive hours and some spend big bucks to get it.
What is it and why does it exist? Let me explain...
When we think of friendly, relaxed and easy going people we often think of those who live where there are less traffic lights and more stars, less sky scrappers and more sky, less concrete jungle and more living landscapes. Country dwellers are often perceived as having an "simpler" life than their city counterparts and thus more time to chat and be friendly. Country people can also be perceived to care more about the customer than the money the customer spends. They care more about people than profit. Is this all true? Who know's, it's just a perception but one that has lead to the best and cheapest marketing slogan ever - "old fashioned country hospitality."
Does this mean that every country town has people with the skills to provide "old fashioned country hospitality?" No. Does this mean that city folk can't provide "old fashioned country hospitality?" No. Location is no guarantee of the level of customer service provided but you don't hear the term "old fashioned city hospitality". Country wins - but only by perception.
Experience is the real measurement of customer service excellence and that's determined by individual customers.
I've experienced the best service of my life in both country and city businesses. I've experienced the worst service of my life in both country and city businesses. The skills of the customer service provider are what creates the feeling of excellence and, Customer Service Professionals are made not born. So how can you create a culture of customer service excellence in you business? It's easier than you think and it starts by making sure you don't make any of the 7 Mistakes.
Click on the link below to find out what you can do that will have your customers raving about your business and your team for all the right reasons. It's free and requires no contact information.
If you're a city dweller or you've never experienced "old fashioned country hospitality" it's important to note that it's not the type of service you only receive from hospitality businesses. It's a level of service that everyone - with help, can achieve. It's treating customers how they want to be treated - not just how you want to be treated. It's not specific to country customer service people, it's specific to Customer Service Professionals.
Have a great day and while you're at it - download the first Chapter of my book for free.
Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach and Author of; The A - Z of Service Excellence. The essential guide to becoming a Customer Service Professional