As a marketer, it’s my job to spread the word about a company’s products or services and find ways to bring more money in the door.
Oftentimes, that means focusing on how to retain the customers that you already have. After all, in many industries, it is far more expensive to go out and get new business than to keep the customers they have.
That’s why customer service is so darn important.
Creating remarkable experiences for customers not only helps reinforce the messages from the marketing team, but it also ensures that your customers will come back time and time again.
What is remarkable customer service?
I talk a lot about the importance of delighting and surprising customers, but what does that mean? How can businesses create memorable experiences for their customers?
Outstanding customer service means something a little different to everyone. So, to help illustrate what this looks like, I’m sharing four stories of how remarkable customer service made the difference between a good buying experience and a great one.
1. Fix problems.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited Jeni’s Ice Creams, which is seriously the most heavenly ice cream on the planet!
As I was checking out, the cashier gave me my total, which was WAY less than it should have been. I asked if they had some kind of special or discount running that day. He said “no” and again told me the price.
It just still didn’t seem right. I was about to pay him, but I asked again about the total price. He finally realized that he had only charged me for one bowl of ice cream, not two.
I joked that if I just kept my mouth shut, I would have gotten one heck of a deal!
The cashier apologized and thanked me for being so honest. As he was giving me my receipt, he pulled out a card from the register and handed it to me – it entitled me to a free bowl of ice cream on my next visit.
Although this wasn’t a huge blunder, it’s clear that Jeni’s gives their employees the power to make things right. He didn’t have to ask for a manager or get permission to fix a problem. He just did it.
This was a very small misstep, but by going out of his way to correct it, the cashier ensured that I didn’t leave with a bad taste in my mouth. In fact, it made me an even bigger fan and guaranteed that I’ll be back.
2. Be Responsive.
When attending Social Slam a couple of weeks ago, my friend, Jon Moss, showed me this awesome iPad keyboard he was using.
Called The Brydge, it looked like the perfect solution for me and I was eager to get my hands on one before traveling on a cross-country flight the following week.
When I got into the office on last Monday, I noticed that three-day shipping was their fastest option. I was hoping to get the product before my Thursday morning flight and that shipping option wasn’t going to work.
They didn’t have a phone number, so I sent them an email. When I didn’t hear anything right away, I took my chances on sending a message via Twitter.
@lauraclick Yes! DM me with your shipping address and email and we’ll work it out, if we act quick it can go out today.
— The Brydge (@The_Brydge) April 8, 2013
Within minutes, the folks from The Brydge responded via Twitter and told me they would work to find a shipping solution to get me the product in time.
Over a series of quick emails, we had the product ordered for guaranteed delivery on Wednesday. And, they even threw in a 10 percent discount for “being awesome”.
I was amazed.
Had their team not been so responsive, I probably would have found another solution and would have never purchased their product. As a relatively new company, they understood the power of responsiveness – especially when someone is making a buying decision.
3. Reward Loyal Customers.
If you haven’t heard about this story, you can watch me talk about it in a video on Adam Toporek’s blog.
I won’t give away the whole story, but let’s just say it involves receiving an impromptu kit to make my own vanilla iced nirvana (my favorite drink from their shop).
They went out of their way to reward and thank me, a regular customer of their store. And, their small gesture has paid off because I have told the story countless times, wrote about it on my blog and continue to recommend this fine coffee shop.
4. Get to know the regulars.
8th & Roast is quickly becoming my go-to coffee shop in Nashville. Yes, it is a mere two blocks from my house and I can easily walk there. But the real reason I love it is that the coffee is superb and the service is even better.
What impresses me most about 8th & Roast is that they go out of their way to remember your name and get to know you.
It feels good when Brent the Barista high-fives you when you walk in and asks how things are going in your world. The owners, Lesa and Brad, have shown me around the place and excitedly talk about their new offerings and what they have planned down the road.
Their whole team makes me feel part like part of the family, which makes me want to come back again and again. (And, I do.)
What’s your favorite customer service story?
Certainly, there are a lot of other characteristics that make good customer service. These are just four examples of what I’ve experienced.
So, I want to hear from you!
What’s your favorite customer service story? What do you think makes remarkable customer service? Let me know in the comment section.
Image credit: Waqas Mustafeez