I recently blogged about Hyatt’s plan to offer some customers “random acts of generosity.” I’ve received a number of comments about how this program seems “forced” and may actually backfire if customers start expecting acts of generosity. But the research in that post also showed that unexpected value can cause gratitude which creates a potentially strong foundation for loyalty.
So what should companies do? Take Five!
Disney trains its staff on a program called Take Five. Cast members (employees) are expected to take five minutes from their normal daily duties to do something special for their guests; they call it being aggressively friendly.
These aren’t meant to be random acts like paying for somebody’s drinks, but little things that are contextually relevant to the guest. For example, when one cast member heard that a guest wasn’t feeling well, she went on her own to get some chicken soup and bring it to the guest in her room.
How can companies make this type of program work:
- Encourage it. Companies need to teach employees to look for and act on relevant opportunities for helping customers. Using language like “Take Five” for the program will help embed it in the culture. As with any of these programs, employees should understand “why” this is happening and also be given clear parameters.
- Talk about it. As I mentioned in a recent post, storytelling is a powerful tool for shaping culture. Workgroups should share these experiences in normal team meetings (to motivate and to learn) and execs should share these stories at company wide venues to demonstrate their commitment and to motivate employees.
- Reward it. One of my 6 laws of customer experience is that employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated. So companies should think about creating awards to honor employees for going above and beyond their duties to help customers — in five minute segments.
The bottom line: It’s worth five minutes per day to wow your customers.