It’s December and Christmas is just around the corner! Many of us are planning for Christmas parties, family gatherings, vacations, work events and shopping marathons. I’m sure this time of year brings up past memories of both positive and negative customer service stories for businesses and consumers. Sadly, more often than not, Christmas is a time where customer service horror stories occur.
I would like to share a positive customer service experience that inspires me this time of year. One of my favorite Christmas customer service experiences involves a well-known company called Apple. I have heard a variety of perspectives and opinions on Apple’s commitment to customer service, but my experience during the Christmas season at Apple truly “wowed” me and exemplified the spirit of giving. My very first Apple iPhone that I purchased was subject to some water damage a few weeks after I had received it… I was devastated! I brought my phone into Apple (at Southgate Mall in Edmonton) to explain what had happened and inquire about what my options were and how much I was going to have to pay in order to get a new phone or have it fixed. I was shocked by the employee’s response. “Well, it is Christmas so I’ll tell you what, you give me your damaged phone and if you give me 5 minutes, I will bring you a brand new one. No charge.” His response was simple, generous and caring and as a result I was thrilled.
My experience at Apple has truly set the bar for me in terms of customer service excellence. The Apple employee I encountered was empowered to make a quick, yet informed decision that has now made me a committed and loyal Apple customer. Not only that, I am telling my customer service story to others.
Ultimately your employees and all of their actions or inactions play the most important role in the customer experience. It is the addition of all of the “little things” that ultimately make the difference between growing success and being overtaken by those businesses that commit to doing the little things well. Is your team aware of your company customer service goals and are they are motivated to achieve them? Ensure your business and employees are ready to go the extra mile to accommodate your valued customers in a stressful and hectic purchasing season.