Where is the battery charger for my Skil cordless drill? I can´t find it, so I spend an hour searching my two-story home from top to bottom. I don´t find it but I do find six battery chargers for cell phones that are probably not compatible with the ones we have.
I´m upset now because there are holes that need to be drilled, screws that need to be screwed. I have no power for my jobs and I need MORE POWER! Checking Skil´s Web site and searching for replacement parts, I quickly find a toll free number.
I hate calling customer service because I´ve spent more time on hold over the years than I have watching college football. And I love college football.
But, calling customer service is on my "to do" list so I call them. I quickly work my way through the voice mail menu. A human being answers (female) but I miss her name as the phone line crackles.
Me: I´ve lost my battery charger to a 12-volt cordless drill, style # 2466. Can you tell me what a replacement would cost me?
CSR: Yes sir, it would cost a bazillion dollars.
Me: (Stunned that a CSR would have a sense of humor-and use it with a customer) Well, I hope not. Can you give me a discount?
CSR: Let me see what I can do. (Several seconds pass as she scrolls through screens.) Good news! I think I can get you a sizeable discount. How does $17 sound including tax and shipping?
Me: Well that sounds better than a bazillion dollars. I´ll take it.
CSR: How would you like to pay for that? We take Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Me: Determined to even things up I reply: What, you won´t take my Starbucks gift card?
CSR:(She laughs.) I´m sorry sir.
We finalize the shipping and other details and I hang up. It´s the first time I´ve ever been surprised by a humorous customer service representative. I wouldn´t be surprised if she wasn´t practicing the Fish! Philosophy. Two of their principles are "Have fun!" and "Make their day!" She sure made mine.
More importantly, up to that moment I had been a Black and Decker guy. I had bought the Skill cordless drill only because I couldn´t find one from Black and Decker that was in stock. Now this CSR has given her company an even shot when it comes to my next tool purchase.
Bottom line: Empower your employees to use their common sense and their sense of humor when appropriate. Doing so can lead to a legendary customer service experience which could start some cool word of mouth advertising.