Making Things Right: A Lesson in Customer Service
Several years ago, a few weeks before her husband’s birthday, a female customer named Amy stopped into an electronics store to buy a new TV for her husband. Since this was a top-of-the-line TV, she needed to pay the store in increments. She put a deposit on the TV until she could save up the remaining $250 to pay it off. Wanting to surprise her husband for his birthday, Amy asked Jim, an employee of the electronics store, if he could put the TV in the display window that evening after she had decorated the TV with some balloons and a sign that said, “Happy Birthday Day, Doug.” Jim, of course, said he was happy to help her arrange the surprise and that he would put the TV in the display window.
One of the things that customers remember the most is the direct contact they had with your company. Your customer’s experiences will be defined by the skill, expertise, and quality of service they receive.
Amy planned to bring Doug by the sore, along with some friends who knew of the surprise, prior to their romantic dinner. She was so excited and could not wait to see the expression on her husband’s face. Everything was ready to go (except that Jim forgot to put the TV in the display before he left work).
The next morning, Jim arrived to a fuming message from Amy. The electronics store immediately realized how grave of a mistake they had made, and they knew they needed to go beyond the call of duty to keep Amy as a customer. The company waived the remaining $250 balance and tried to reconstruct a romantic evening at the best restaurant in the local area.
This company, concerned with resolving their mistake, ended up spending about $500 to correct their blunder and maintain the integrity of their customer culture. The electronics store realized that Amy and Doug could potentially be worth thousands of dollars as customers; it was well worth the investment.
The forgetful Jim sent the owner of the electronics store an envelope in the mail with a $500 check enclosed to repay the store for the cost of reconstructing the customer relationship along with a letter of apology for put at risk a potential lifetime customer. The owner never cashed Jim’s check. He framed the check and hung it as a reminder above his desk, that although they lost a couple hundred dollars that day, it was worth every penny in many ways. The customer relationship was saved and this employee took the company’s culture to heart: create lifetime customers.
It does not matter how great your product is or how capable your staff is. One of the things that customers remember the most is the direct contact they had with your company. Your customer’s experiences will be defined by the skill, expertise, and quality of service they receive. Smart and strong companies have great customer relationships and continually work on improving those relationships.
Blog contributed by Julie Rolles, Training Specialist for PSA Security Network