With Thanksgiving, Halloween and Remembrance Day now behind us, we are already witnessing holiday commercials and the start of festive events. Yes, the holidays are approaching and many of us are prepared to bundle up, clear our visa cards and head out for our annual Christmas shopping spree to get that special something for those near and dear to us. As the malls and outlet stores are packed full and lineups become common, I usually reflect and notice the truly great and very poor customer service I receive during this time.
Can you recall a time when you received very poor customer service? How about a time you received amazing customer service? So great that it made your day.
As customer service is paramount in creating a loyal customer base and increasing sales, I want to share two significant customer service stories and what I took away regarding creating an excellent sales and service culture.
Customer Service is about remembering the details and going the extra mile: Often people consider going to the dentist to be a painful experience. However growing up my experience was completely the opposite. My dentist always greeted me with a smile, a friendly hello, and she asked questions about how my family was doing. She showed genuine interest in us and remembered the “small stuff”. Additionally, she clearly explained all dental procedures so that I felt comfortable and safe. Not only that, every year we received a handwritten card from our dentist personally stating how grateful she was to have us as clients. She set a great example for remembering the details and going the extra mile.
Customer Service is about consistency and attitude: I recently nearly switched my phone service provider because of one particular negative customer service experience. I was enquiring about switching to a new and updated I-Phone and had a number of questions while being somewhat pressed for time. During my interaction I found my sales rep to be short in his responses, unaccommodating to my situation and did not take the time to answer my questions thoroughly and accurately. At one point when I indicated that I was frustrated he even stated to me that he had a busy day and didn’t have time to deal with my situation!” I decided to leave the store, cool down and visit a different representative at a later date. This experience nearly lost my cell phone provider a loyal customer. Companies with exceptional customer service, consistently display a positive and responsive attitude towards customer problems. This means doing the right things over and over to keep your customers loyal and advocates for your brand.
I encourage you to reflect upon your own customer service stories as you make purchasing decisions during the holidays and ultimately decide what type of businesses you may want to support.