On this post, instead of rant and lecture about customer service, I’m going to give an example of why I feel so confident in the power of excellent customer service.
You can read daily about the many bad experiences people have with customer service.
You can read daily about the good experiences people have with customer service.
You read that your business should make customer service a priority, especially in today’s marketplace.
But you rarely read about the proof of the pudding; with real life examples that show the results for a business when you give excellent service.
Well, your about to get one of those examples!
The anecdote I’m going to tell demonstrates the results that can accrue by providing that excellent service. It can literally create “raving fans” for your business. It’s one of the many stories from my own experience that demonstrates how powerful excellent customer service can be in creating customer loyalty.
This is not an anomaly. Situations like this occurred in our store many, many times.
We get a phone call in our store one day from one of our regular customers. She’s in a panic!
This customer was a dedicated user of a walking shoe we carried. She had some foot problems and these shoes were the only ones that gave her any comfort. They were the number one “rated” line of walking shoes in the country. In fact, we won a “national award” from the company for being one of the top 5 independent retailers in the United States in sales of these shoes. No small accomplishment considering the tiny town we were in. Needless to say, we sold a lot of these shoes. But I digress.
My customer was calling from Las Vegas and had just arrived there for a two-week stay. She anxiously told me she forgot her walking shoes and asked if I could mail her out a pair. I told her I could send them but I was concerned about them getting to her on time. ( Our store was in upstate NY. That put her pretty much across the country.) She then responded that I could send them next day air shipping. I told her that would cost $15 extra. She said that was fine by her but she needed those shoes. Now, for anyone that’s never been to Las Vegas, let me state that you spend a tremendous amount of time on your feet while there so I understood her anxiety.
Read what I said next to her and think deeply on it. What I said is the reason our store had many, many “raving fans”, and “raving fans” purposely tell lots of other people to shop at your store.
I said the following in keeping with my philosophy to always want to help my customers and do so with the least anxiety to them. It’s not about the money, it’s about helping! If you help, the money takes care of itself. This applies to any size business.
I told her that I was sure there would be a store in Vegas that carried the shoes she needed. I would even check for her. She could pick them up there and save the $20 dollar expense of shipping them from NY. It was no problem for me to ship them, but I wanted to give her a more convenient option.
Now comes the payoff for giving excellent service and creating customer loyalty.
She said, “no way”! I buy my shoes from you because you’re the only one I trust.
The shoes were shipped that day, she got them the following day. She even stopped into my store when she returned home to thank me again for helping her out.
Do you think she talked about this to her friends and family? Do you think she recommended my store to others?
End of story!