Customer Service… a pretty important concept for anyone in business. And yet, what does it really mean?
Is it that you respond to all incoming calls or website inquiries within “x” amount of time? How about that you complete a job according to the schedule you gave to the client? Or that you offered something more than they had actually asked for?
Perhaps even more importantly, what does it mean to your clients? After all, they are the ones who will ultimately be judging you.
Over the past couple of months I have had a few examples of customer service – or maybe it could even be classified as customer care, that really stuck with me as being more than what I would have expected, and so I share these with you today:
- At our business we have regularly scheduled pick-ups at the end of the day by UPS. It can be anywhere from just a few boxes and shipments up to on occasions where we might have 2 – 3 skids of boxes. Our UPS Driver – Dave, will come and do the pick-up and many times it can be after regular hours. So while I may still be up front in the office area, no one would be in the back by where he picks up. Dave has always been great in taking care of these shipments and making sure all doors are secure when he leaves. We have come to rely on Dave and the level of service he brings, and admittedly we are spoiled by this service. But what made me acknowledge an even greater customer service event, was one day when Dave was sick. How did we know this? Because Dave actually took the time to call us from home and let us know that perhaps we should check in on the pick-up since he was not going to be there! Wow – how many times does that happen?
- Example #2 is something that the counter staff at a local Dry Cleaner will offer everyone as they pick up their finished order. When they retrieve your clothes from the rack and pass them to you, they ask… can I help you bring these to your car? Seriously, you will walk these out in the cold, snowy parking lot just for me? What the heck, I am in pretty good shape without any disabilities, and yet you would still do this? That’s pretty cool I think. Especially when this franchise – CD One Price Cleaners, is one that pretty much sells themselves on price. They will clean any garment for men or women for just one price and they guarantee items brought in by 10 am are completed by 5 pm, and will give you a text message to confirm they are complete. So even in a commoditized market, they provide even more than might be expected.
- Recently my wife was in for surgery at a local hospital – Centegra Hospital – McHenry. This was not a planned procedure, and while it was not complicated or requiring intensive care, it did require her to be in the hospital for 5 days before release. Although no hospital stay is every really “fun,” Julie was very well taken care of and the level of care provided by the staff was more than she remembers from other hospital stays. In fact it made enough of an impression on her, that one day after she came home, she baked a batch of cookies to bring up to the staff in the department she was in! This is a great example of what can happen when you provide great customer care – the customer actually acknowledges and even thanks you for the service.
To truly enhance the customer service experience, I believe that you need to go above and beyond what someone might expect.
How is it that you do this in your business?