Yesterday I emailed the company that makes the thermostat used in our house. It’ s big company, a major player in this business. Still I did not expect a fast response. I guess I never do (unless the company I’m emailing is called Zappos). I was surprised to get a reply email from the company in less than 24 hours. (Consumer appliance manufacturers are not known for being exceptionally speedy with their email customer service.) So I was pleased. But my good feeling only lasted several seconds because the email they sent me said this:
Hot off the presses today is a brief note from our friends at dslreports.com. They tell us T-Mobile remains the customer service champion of the big wireless carriers. On the other hand, AT&T didn’t do so well. “Our in-store experience left us with one question out of three unanswered and we were shocked that one representative couldn’t help get our email up and running (though another rep at a different store was successful). Our trial of AT&T’s web support turned up similar results when one online associate told us they don’t support Slacker software, and one of our phone support [...]
The secret to improving customer service (and therefore, increasing customer loyalty) is simple: Hire friendly people and don’t make them use scripts. In the past few weeks I’ve experienced both sides of this coin. I’ve had to deal with my share of customer service robots. Too many of these people use scripts like life-support. They’ve erased all traces of personality from their souls (at least when dealing with customers.) Dealing with them satisfies my customer expectations no more than a plate of baked cardboard would appease my appetite. But there’s good news!
“I think there’s a big difference between motivation and inspiration. You can accomplish stuff by motivating employees, but I think you could accomplish a lot more by inspiring them to a bigger vision that has meaning to them and that you’re passionate about.” -Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappos
We know going the extra mile in customer service can help us do a better job and keep customer coming back. Sometimes though, the best way to help us keep going the extra mile is with an example, like this. That’s why I love this video. It uses humor to show us what’s missing in too many customer experiences. It shows us what going the extra mile might mean. Watch it and ask yourself, what could I do today to give my customers a similar experience? Then go for it!
Today’s lesson on customer service comes from an unexpected source: Donald Trump and his show, “The Apprentice”. This week’s episode saw the project leader (popular skater, Scott Hamilton) get fired because he ignored a cardinal rule of customer service: give them what they want. The project this week was to create a cartoon character (for marketing purposes) for Zappos. If Zappos is known for one thing it’s customer service. They go to great lengths to give their customer the experience they want. And they have passionately loyal customers because of this. Both teams had access to the Zappos CEO to [...]