Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A Tale of Two Customer Experiences

If you ever want to see me lose my cool, just give me
some really bad customer service. That usually does it.
If you want to make me sing your praises give me good
customer service and you’ll have an advocate for life.

Here are two customer service stories (abbreviated because
I know you have other things to do today and reliving one
of the stories would get me all wound up again :-).

Story #1 An office supply company who I usually have only
good experiences with…

I was in charge of ordering new tables and chairs for my
church. I placed the order only to find out that they had a
cable guy delivery schedule. Someone needed to be at the
church between the hours of 9 and 5.

On the day they wanted to deliver, a huge snowstorm was
predicted and it was doubtful that anyone would be able to
make it to the church. The company was not able to schedule
the delivery any other day or time, even though I called and
asked. I actually had to cancel the order and reorder the
next day to get a better delivery date.

When I called to voice my concerns about the 9 to 5 delivery
time frame, I was given a “company policy” explanation. So I
called the corporate headquarters and had a frank discussion
about the importance of good customer service. Naturally, they
agreed that my concerns were valid, it was a problem, but they
still didn’t do anything about it.

Story #2 A computer company who I always have good
experiences with…

The most important tool in my business, besides my brain, is
my computer. Without it I’m dead in the water. My computer
has developed some progressively worsening issues. Namely,
the poor thing is overloaded with all the stuff I’ve got in it. As
such, it is slower than molasses in January. It is costing me
severely in productivity as I wait, and wait, and wait, and wait
for it to catch up with me.

So, the time has come to bring a new member into the family.
Without hesitation I headed to the Dell website to do my
shopping. Why Dell? My last two computers were from Dell.
I got a good product at a good price and excellent customer
service. (As a consultant, I’m also fascinated by the company
and its business model.) I did my shopping and product
comparing and placed my order on March 22. I was given an
estimated ship date of March 28.

This morning I received an email notification that my computer
shipped the same day I ordered it. WOW!! They gave me a
reasonable time frame for delivery and then got the job done
immediately. All the while they provided me with excellent
communication. How’s that for service? Dude, I’m getting a Dell!

Delight your customers. It is the best way to get more business
from them and from their friends and colleagues. I have said it
before and I’ll say it again. Your customer is your most valuable
asset and a dedicated, loyal customer has value far beyond the
first sale.

Until next time,
Caroline Jordan

Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
The Jordan Result