The Importance of Good Customer Service – Day 2

This past summer, I started ordering most of my produce from Amazon Fresh. I was hooked after my first order, because their produce was so pristine compared to what I bought in the store (including Whole Foods). They take the time to package softer fruits (plums, pluots, etc.) in plastic clam shells (or whatever they are called) to help prevent bruising. Just about every piece of fruit, vegetable or herb has an organic version. They also have a larger selection of products and unique items than a typical grocery store. These things keep me going back on a regular basis.

On Monday, I got a new delivery. I was quite surprised to find that my 2 lbs. of honeycrisp apples all had large bruises on each and every one of them and those bruises were already starting to turn into rot. This was the first time that their produce was unsatisfactory.

I went to their website and located their contact info and tried to call them. They were experiencing telephone problems and couldn’t connect my call at that time. Annoying. So, I used their contact form and sent and email, not expecting to hear back until hours later.

I was pleasantly surprised to get a response (not an automated one, either) within 10 minutes. Not only were they refunding the money I paid for the apples, but they were also contacting they quality control team to inspect the remaining stock of apples to ensure none of them were also bad.

The whole process was pretty painless and I was happy with the solution. I’m sure other customers would be happy, too, that they weren’t going to get bad apples. Plus, they retained me as a customer!

This incidence reminded me that it’s the little things that make a difference and how there are things I do in my own business to try and make it a good customer experience. Here are two things that I try to do on a regular basis:

  • Fully engage with the customer when speaking with them. When meeting in person, I ask questions to show I’m listening. I also repeat back to them what we discussed so I don’t misunderstand. The hardest thing to do…and I am making an effort and getting much better at it…is to really listen when I’m on the phone and don’t try to multi-task on the computer (checking email, etc.). It’s fine to multi-task while you are working, but when you are talking on the phone, it’s too easy to become distracted and not really hear what the customer is saying.
  • Exceed expectations. Too often, I will get a new customer just because I answered their email within a few hours of receiving it. I know how annoying it can be to wait for a response that either takes days or never shows up, so I try to be very prompt when answering mine. And, just because a project may be done, there’s always something I can do for them to feel like they got something extra free of charge. I’ve done a lot of WordPress websites and make it a point to check to see if the software or plug-ins need updating. I follow it up with an email to say I just saved them some time by taking care of it for them. Or, I might take the new logo I’ve designed for them and use it in the design of a generic greeting card (through Send Out Cards) that they can use for their own clients. Besides giving them a freebie, it also reminds them of my work and they may have another project for me.

There are so many other things one can do to provide good customer service. What are some of your favorite examples?

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Good Customer Service – Day 2

  1. Anita, I saw your post on the Power Chicks FB site. This week has been amazing in the “happy client dept”. In my industry, just doing what you say you will do is the first step in great service (construction/remodeling)…here are a few examples of how happy clients sound:

    “WOW. Once again April has come through for us with flying colors. We noticed a small glitch in our plumbling and both April and her team were on it that very day. The repair was made and we are very happy. April is reliable, professional and always has the best interest of her client at heart.”

    and

    “I am so grateful for the time April puts into our remodel. She puts herself in our kitchen and thinks about what makes sense and makes suggestions. Her input has been so helpful.”

    For me and my team, really listening to each and every client is key.

  2. Great article Anita! Having been in quite a few customer service roles I have many stories, but I think I could summarize that the best customer service is when we, the providers, come from the customer’s place – be in their shoes, if you will – and acknowledge that by being present and in a place of steward leadership. The challenge is to be in that space even when the customer is less than nice about their complaint.

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