Most if not all of us have at one time or another (yesterday maybe?) experienced really bad customer service. Frustrating, stunning, unbelievable at times-you can´t quite believe the ineptness, the attitude, or the brazenness. You have to remind yourself that you´re the customer, but still, you walk away shaking your head some and swear you´ll never bother to give them your business again. But then you go somewhere else and boom! It starts happening again.
You would think with the rampant bad service in every corner of society that there´d be this amazing opportunity to rise above the fray and create some really fabulous customer relationships. And I think that´s happening, but I still marvel over what passes as good customer service. The companies that do offer extraordinary service usually achieve their star status because an employee (or two) simply takes a real interest in a customer. It sounds like a fairly mundane act of kindness, but it´s essential if you want to succeed in this very competitive marketplace. Even if you don´t have much competition you never know when a company with a similar product is about to muscle into your territory. And we all know that with the Internet, territory is no longer a relative term. It´s everywhere.
Recently, I brought in my iBook G4 (also known by my daughter as my "new best friend") to our local Apple Store. I´d made an appointment with a "genius" about two hours earlier. I arrived just a few minutes after 5 p.m., the scheduled time. I won´t bore you with the details of what was wrong, but I will tell you that the genius spent nearly 45 minutes with me, brought my iPod (well, it´s my husband´s, but I borrow it on a regular basis) back to life, and saved me some money by directing me to another vendor where I could get what needed in storage at a better price. He said that what they sold was something I didn´t really need at this time. How often do you hear that? I think he must have noticed the terror in my face, something that happens whenever my computer starts to act up. The point is he put me at ease, took a lot of time to do so, and built up some addition customer goodwill. I know a lot of readers are PC users and may scoff at my use of Apple, but I´m sold again and again on the good customer service. What does this genius get for all his hard work? I wrote in to comment and today I´ll bring over a Starbucks card as my small way of saying thanks.
What are your employees doing to build goodwill?