It is obvious to plan for success. We research how other have succeeded, we plan how to repeat success. Yet it is the time of failure when our capabilities are challenged. The bigger the possible loss, the bigger the gain.
Many companies consider customer service as something they have to do, cause they have to do it. Very few understand how it can make a huge difference in how customers think about the business and especially how willing they are to recommend the services.
I bought a new laptop six months ago. I felt a bit uncomfortable with it from the beginning. Lately it has shown more and more signs of getting slower and slower…and it’s still a fairly new device. Last week I took a day off to get over a flu, which gave me an opportunity to lay down on a sofa and carefully examine the laptop, why does it feel getting slower all the time. I discovered that memory usage was over 80% which just shouldn’t be like that. Getting a closer look revealed me that the device only had 4GB of RAM, when it was supposed to have 8 GB.
After further examination I noticed that it wasn’t even the exact model I had purchased. There was only a one letter difference in the model, I had bought a CF0006no but was holding in my hand a FM0006no. And all this had happened already six months ago.
I decided to approach the store via customer service chat, because I felt It would be easier to control my own feelings along the conversation. I was only hoping to talk to a real person instead of a chatbot.
I started saying: This is a bit weird since its six months ago and I only realize it now..
However, the way they reacted and dealt with my issue was remarkable.
From the first moment they wanted me – the customer – to feel happy. It was their mistake alright. They had given me the wrong device – but I didn’t check that until six months later. They have a 60 days cashback guarantee – this was 180 days already.
To put this on a larger perspective. Since I bought the laptop, I had bought from the same store several other products and would continue to do so, unless something would dramatically change my mind. One laptop is not worth it, and it seems they have clearly understood this. They offered to replace my device with the one I actually have bought – with no cost. However, I had used the ‘wrong’ device for some time already and had lots of data in it. Therefore, I wanted to keep it. They offered a fait deal to purchase the old one and to get the one I originally wanted.
All the way I felt we were on the same side. They apologized for their mistake and I did for mine. In the end I was even more happy customer as I was before.
We plan our processes to be perfect. But it’s human to make mistakes, everyone makes them. The key is how you deal with these problems where the stakes are higher. You may lose something but more often you can win much more: the respect and gratitude of your customer. You can make him/her willing to say out loud how well you were dealing with the issue.
Training your staff, giving them responsibility and authority to solve customer disputes will make a big difference. As in my case, the customer is not always totally right but, in the end, he always pays our salaries with continuous purchases.
For any business customer service is crucial for customer experience.
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