A little while back I ordered a product online and when I receive the parcel the product was missing. I’m not sure what happened – perhaps the company forgot to pack it or it was lost or stolen in transit. I was thoroughly disappointed, especially because I had to wait about 10 days for it to arrive from the United States.
I quickly got into action and sent a message via the online retailer’s customer help facility. The next day I received an empathetic email telling me that the retailer was sorry for the missing item and would give me a full refund. If I wanted to re-order the item, they would waive the shipping costs. Three days later I received the refund.
While reading their email, I saw a notice at the bottom of the email that read, “Your feedback is helping us build Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company”.
No wonder they had acted swiftly and were sympathetic have provided me with a refund.
Look, we all know that there are going to be slipups. But the real mark of superior customer service is how to deal with customer issues or problems.
Another example of excellent customer service I came across recently was when a garden specialist working for a garden nursery retailer received a customer complaint in the early evening. The customer said that the garden nursery retailer had given her advice to use a certain tree feller and the trees surrounding the customer’s property had been hacked. The customer was in tears because the job was so badly botched.
The garden specialist first sympathetically listened to the customer’s complaint and said that she would come out to the property the next day. Afterwards, when the cell phone was switched off, the garden specialist said she suspected the tree feller wasn’t their recommendation but must’ve been another company used by the property management team at the complex.
The next day the garden specialist went out to the property, examined the trees with the customer and advised a solution to lessen the impact of the damage done by the felling company. Later that day the customer sent a text message saying that she was terribly sorry for having accused the garden nursery retailer of recommending the tree felling company. Another supplier had done the tree felling.
We hear a lot about bad customer service but there are some companies that are striving to please customers, especially in the online retailing world.
Customer service is important for any business, especially small businesses, but often while excellent customer service is preached, in practice many businesses’ customer service sucks.
In this disruptive retailing environment with mega online retailers such as Amazon, the old, traditional, couldn’t-care-less way of doing business will become harder to justify when online relations are merely a quick of a few buttons away, offering superior customer service.
How will you improve customer service in this new environment? Many businesses have got away with it for far too long and if they continue doing so that might still be around but far less successful than they could be.