Like most customers, my mood turns sour when I encounter poor customer service. However, personally, poor customer service (long hold times, unpleasant CSRs, inconvenient processes) still feels like the norm and therefore I try to not let it ruin my day.
But what I recently found out about myself as a consumer, is that I’m far greater impacted (in a positive way) by excellent customer service than negatively by poor customer experience. Why? Because excellent customer service feels “rare and special” – It’s like opening a birthday present from your aunt who always gives you socks, and instead of socks, you get a $100 bill. You’re surprised, you’re pleased, and you’ll tend to remember this “rare and special” experience more than the numerous poor experiences of the past.
In a quick attempt to summarize my “rare and special” experience, the other week, I noticed that the wood frame in my DODOcase-branded iPad case had cracked and my iPad no longer fit snuggly and securely in the case, ultimately defeating the purpose of the case. I took to Twitter to contact them and inform them of the events. With a quick reply via Twitter, they asked that I email a photo of the crack to their attached email address, and they would inform me how to proceed from there.
Alas, I complied with the simple request, and received the following email shortly thereafter:
“We are so sorry to hear about your broken DODOcase, we are here to make it right! We want to make this as convenient for you as possible because we know what a bummer it is to break a product you love. Here are two options; just let us know which works best for you… (My thoughts: “Aww, thanks for understanding that I’m not that happy right now, hopefully this isn’t going to be too painful, and hopefully these options are free, let’s see what the options are…”)
- We can offer you a replacement DODOcase identical to your current case (My thoughts: “Bingo – a replacement is exactly what I’m looking for, but I’m curious what Option 2 is…”)
- The other option is, if you are especially devoted to your DODOcase (as many of us are), and you do not wish to replace it, we would be happy to repair it free of charge (My thoughts: “Wait, you’re telling me that some people are emotionally attached to their exact case that you would be willing to take the same case, repair it, and ship it back free of charge – this is awesome.”)
Even though I thought Option 2 was incredibly unique and fantastic customer service, all I needed was Option 1, so I followed their simple directions, submitted my original confirmation number and shipping address, and 3 days later, I had a brand new case, completely free of charge.
From this experience, I took away 3 key aspects that I believe other companies can incorporate into their customer service:
- Respond to requests via Twitter and other Social Media – receiving replies from companies on social media still has an “allure” for the customer, even though they are aware it is a response from a CSR, since it’s the company’s name, it feels like it comes from the CEO, which makes a customer feel important and that their business matters
- Create easy solutions/options for customer to choose how to resolve an issue – don’t just send the customer down a long and twisted corporate policy with lots of hoops to jump through, instead provide the customer with options and allow them to choose, customers always like to have a choice
- Reply and act quickly – the faster an issue is addressed, the more likely the customer will be happy with the experience, and the less time they have to dwell about the inconvenience (and less time they would spend telling their friends or social media about the inconvenience)
Soon enough, I (and other consumers) will no longer “brace for impact” against poor customer service as the norm, and instead, will expect excellent customer service on a regular basis. This is why it is vital for companies to adapt the way they work with their customers right now, in order to build brand-loyalty.