When Ari Weinzweig and Paul Saginaw started a corner delicatessen in Ann Arbor some 35 years ago, little did they know that the two-man operation would blossom into a $55 million business involved in everything from publishing to worldwide food tours.
Yet if you ask what the “secret sauce” of Zingerman’s success is in such far flung operations employing 700 people, the answer all boils down to one thing: great customer service.
If Zingerman’s can do it, so can you, the company’s officials say. Best of all, Grand Rapids businesses will soon get an opportunity to hear from Zingerman’s managers how they serve up happy customers.
Just like you would expect from a company launched as a deli, Zingerman’s has developed a hearty sandwich of business principles that add up to a sure fire recipe for returning customers.
There’s three main entrees to the sandwich:
Find out what the customer wants
Get it for them accurately, politely, and enthusiastically, and
Go the extra mile.
ZingTrain: Building a Culture of Great Customer Service
Sounds so simple that everyone should be doing it, but just ask the top executives of some of our nation’s largest airlines whether it’s always easy to provide top notch customer service. Here’s where Zingerman’s managers lay on their 5-step series of condiments and toppings in handling customer complaints to deal with difficult customers.
The recipe is:
Make it Right
Thank them, and
By using these straightforward principles, Zingerman’s has grown from a local deli to a corporation — or Community of Businesses as the company likes to say — of more than 15 units that includes a bakery, candy manufacturing, Cornman Farms event venue, worldwide food tours and publishing. While the businesses are varied, the customer service principles work the same way, company officials say.
Grand Rapids area businesses will have a convenient and inexpensive way to get Zingerman’s recipe for great customer service from company officials themselves on May 23, sponsored by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. In its second installment of its Summit Up! Series Small Business, the Chamber will be welcoming the ZingTrain as it presents “Building a Culture of Giving Great Service” from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Goei Center, 818 Butterworth St. SW.
The training, offered at a special rate of $200 per attendee, will coach attendees on how to appropriately and successfully respond to customer pain points through hands-on learning tools including workbooks, class materials and role playing.
For further information about the event, please visit: Summit Up!