Customer Service Eyes. Can You Grow Them Or Are You Born With Them?

We all want and need employees with Customer Service Eyes. And Customer Service DNA.

Speaking personally, I don’t believe that I was born with Customer Service Eyes. Or Customer Service DNA either, for that matter.

Nobody is.

I believe that Customer Service Eyes and Customer Service DNA are acquired or learned skills. And as such, since I’ve learned them, anyone else can learn these skills. It really is that simple.

Let me explain.

Last night, and also last month, as a customer, I experienced two very similar examples of businesses *NOT* operating with their Customer Service Radars up and fully operational.

Simple problems easily solved, but not thought through at all. Let me share….

Last month, as some of you may be aware, I had the pleasure of entertaining some American friends who had made the journey to the glorious Land Down Under that I call home.

On one expedition out, my friends and my wife and I called in for a late lunch at a small restaurant we know and enjoy.

Now we know the owner. A lovely man. But sometimes his Customer Service Radar is just not up. Sadly here’s what happened.

With our meal, my thirsty American friend and I ordered a couple of Crownies. Two Crown Lagers*. Australian beer. Premium beer. Good premium beer.

“Sorry sir, we’re out of Crownies.”



“OK. We’ll have two Peronis.”

Now I know the restaurant is closed after Sunday lunch through until Friday lunchtime. So I know it runs on a part time basis… But I thought it odd to run out of local premium beer. Considering bottled beer keeps and doesn’t perish…at least not in a week…

As we finished those, during our short lunch, we asked the waitress for two more. Peronis. Two more Peronis.

“Sorry sir, we’re out of Peronis.”



“What other full strength beer do you have?”

“None sir. Sorry.”


My second story, about lack of Customer Service DNA occurred last night at the Sydney annual Night Noodle Markets being held this week in beautiful Hyde Park in Sydney. These markets are a week long event, held every October, where many Sydney Asian-style restaurants have stalls set up selling food samplings, in small serves, to be eaten and consumed at casual outdoor table and chair settings.

After walking around, and studying the various stands, we made our various food purchases, and proceeded to a separated area to sit down and eat.

Now this separated area was provided for customers of a certain sponsor of the event. I liked the area, as the tables and chairs were nicer, the area had a level flooring, and the area was also offering for staff to go out to two associated stalls and collect food for patrons if need be. There was also a private bar and drink facility in this area. So, it was a reasonable deal for this sponsor.

Now silly me.

I’d bought two laksas. About as far away from this area as you could. So by the time I got back to this private area, sat down and started eating, my wife pointed out to me that I’d been given forks by the laksa vendor [plastic forks], instead of noodle spoons [plastic noodle spoons] with the chopsticks and napkins.

Silly me.

Now if you know laksas, then a fork is next to useless.

I suppose if you can’t use chopsticks then the fork does has have a purpose, I guess?

But no spoon? How the heck do you get to the liquid? It’s impossible to use the fork!

[Although, as plastic forks, these were shaped more like a splade*, but not much, because they only lifted about one or two milliltres of laksa juice at a time.]

So we soldiered on.

[By the way, we knew that spoons were available, because my teenage son, who had bought a soup from another vendor, was consuming his meal, albeit now painstakingly rather slowly, with one of these said spoons….]

Anyway, so we soldiered on

Now this area, because of its restricted nature, was less than full. Well almost empty…

Now this was because of two reasons. Firstly, it was a colder than it should be night, by Sydney springtime standards, due to an unusual cold snap.

And also, surprise surprise, we were dining late….

As we do….

Anyway, the restricted area was well attended by staff, all regaled in shirts bearing the sponsoring company’s colour and logo.

So, after struggling with the fork, my wife asks one of these staff members, who was very pleasant, if they had any plastic noodle spoons available.

“I don’t think so. I know we’ve got plenty of chopsticks. Let me go and check.”

She goes. And she returns.

“Sorry, we have no spoons.”


Now in both these cases, the opportunity was there for both employees to go *Above and Beyond* and really create a *WOW* experience for us, their customers. An experience or story that we’d have been happy to share, and share, and share…

You see, at the restaurant, there’s a pub across the road. And pubs sell beer.

SO wouldn’t it just have been great if the waitress had returned, and said:

“I’m sorry for the delay sir. You wouldn’t have believed it, but last night we were so busy our patrons drank us right out of all full strength beer.

“Anyway, fortunately, I’ve been able to run across the road to the pub and get you your beers…”

Nice cold beers….

Now, wouldn’t that have been great? And would that have really been so difficult to do?

Similarly, too, at the noodle market, what if that staff person had returned, and said:

“Sir, sorry for the delays. Here are your spoons. You know, for some reason we didn’t have any, but I was able to run over to XYZ vendor who gladly gave me some for you to use…”

In both these instances, there was great opportunity for both employees to activate some *Service Recovery* by going, and then sharing, how they went *Above and Beyond* to rectify these service defects.

But they didn’t.

And the opportunities were lost.

The opportunities to star.

The opportunities to make my day.

To be Day-makers….

The opportunities for service recovery are there in every business. But the team needs to have their radars on.

And sadly, in most cases, they don’t.

And I don’t know whether it’s because they just don’t have the Radar? Or the Customer Service Eyes. Or the DNA needed.

Or that they’re just not allowed to.

To have it. And to use it.

In any case, it’s sad when Service Recovery Opportunities are missed.

Sad for all.

Sad for the business.

Sad for the staff and team members.

And sad for the customer.

Because it’s opportunity lost…


* Crown Lager and Peroni are both bottled beer. In this case. Not “tap” beer.

*A splade is an eating implement invented some time back now to be a three-in-one spoon, fork and knife. I never owned one. Or used one for that matter…

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Developing Customer Service Eyes, and Customer Service DNA, is  just one of the  many benefits of using the straight forward and easy to implement  modules  that make up The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple to build system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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