World Class Customer Service, Zingerman Style
Or, Why we Love Zingerman’s….
By providing truly exceptional service and caring to customers—and employees—Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan has grown from a corner deli to the nationally acclaimed Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB).
Started in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig, who pined for a great Jewish style Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Today Zingerman’s Deli is the source of great food and great experiences for thousands of visitors every year. And, is a model of world class customer service.
Zingerman’s is committed to delivering the most flavorful, traditionally made foods, in an entertaining, educational and service-oriented setting. Whether at one of their many food stores or via their catalog.
You have to be doing something right to get accolades like these:
“America’s Top Independent Retailer for 2011“
– Gourmet Retailer Magazine
“Probably the best food store (and catalog) in the U.S.”
– Jeffrey Steingarten on National Public Radio
“Best Overall. Best Service.”
– Zagat Gourmet Shopping Online
Celebrity chef Mario Batali deems Zingerman’s “The center of my gastro-deli universe.”
Even “Oprah raves Zingerman sandwiches are an 11 on a scale of 1 to 5.”
How do they do it?
Zingerman’s has the right mission and guiding principles, among them, great service, a great place to work, and strong relationships. From the top down, every employee lives them.
One of its companies, ZingTrain, offers books, seminars, DVDs and other tools to help you learn to live its service philosophy, too. How can you not love a company that offers customer service training classes called, “Creating a Vision of Greatness”, “The Art of Giving Great Service” or yes, “Fun, Flavorful Finance”?
Ari Weinzweig’s book, Zingerman’s Guide to Giving Great Service, shares “how-to” formulas for delivering the ultimate in customer service, Zingerman style.
It all boils down to this…
Treat your customer like royalty. And treat each other as well as you treat your customer.
Zingerman’s Five Steps to Creating a Culture of Service:
And the Three Steps of Great Service:
- Find out what the guest wants.
- Get it for them:
- Go the extra mile!
Not to mention the Five Steps to Handling Complaints:
- Acknowledge the complaint.
- Sincerely apologize.
- Make it right.
- Thank them.
- Document the complaint.
Zingerman’s Communicates with Fun and Enthusiasm!
To ensure employees live its mission, Zingerman’s provides what Carole Matthews of Inc. Magazine calls, “The World’s Best Employee Manual,” which enthusiastically communicates how employees can provide world-class customer service.
“For instance, the wastebusting pages include text, graphics and bullet points to emphasize ways to reduce waste. Employee testimonials, like the Xtra Mile Files, share ways employees have gone the extra mile for their customers.
From getting along with others, to a guide for great finance, to answering the phone, Zingerman’s clearly—and playfully—presents what’s most important in running the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses.”
It’s definitely food for thought. Does your business treat customers like royalty? What can you learn from Zingerman’s?
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