In the past couple of months, it has been refreshing to read customer service books by Chip R. Bell, Peter Shankman and Randi Busse & Carol Heady. They all shared the good and the bad of customer service that exists in businesses today.
While each author has a different voice and approach to their books, I enjoyed each one immensely. I found myself nodding my head in agreement with the statements, observations and recommendations they shared to the point that my head almost fell off. Okay, I am not a comedian, but I try 🙂
Today, I strongly believe that customers own brands. If they don’t have a positive experience, they will share it with someone and it is at that point that the brand needs to respond and try to make that person HAPPY again.
Go The Extra Mile
Many companies think it is too expensive to go the extra mile, but as Chip Bell points out, it is even the little things that can have a positive impact on someone’s interaction with a brand. In his book entitled Sprinkles, Bell retells of an experience where he ordered a Jack Daniel’s on the rocks. To his DELIGHT, he was presented with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. The drink was made for him right at the table. Wow, what a special touch.
While I haven’t dined at Morton’s Steakhouse yet, it is certainly on my list thanks to Peter Shankman. In his book entitled, Zombie Loyalists Using Great Service To Create Rabid Fans, he shared that as a long time customer of that steakhouse, he “joking tweeted the following: Hey @Morton’s — can you meet me at Newark Airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks :)” Well, guess what, there are BRAINS behind the Morton’s brand because they carefully monitor the social media waves and recognized one of their loyal customers made a request. A Morton’s employee was waiting to present Peter with his porterhouse steak and much more. What a nice sur”PRIZE”.
Employees Making People Happy
In Randi Busse & Carol Heady’s book entitled Turning Rants Into Raves, they retold a story about how Brandon Cook’s grandmother loved Panera Bread’s clam chowder. “My grandmother is passing soon with cancer. I visited her the other day and she was telling me about how she really wanted soup, but not hospital soup because she said it tasted ‘awful’ she went on about how she really would like some clam chowder from Panera. Unfortunately Panera only sells clam chowder on Friday. I called the manager Sue and told them the situation. I wasn’t looking for anything special just a bowl of clam chowder. Without hesitation she said absolutely she would make her some clam chowder. When I went to pick it up they wound up giving me a box of cookies as well. It’s not that big of a deal to most, but to my grandma it meant a lot. I really want to thank Sue and the rest of the staff from Panera in Nashua, NH just for making my grandmother happy. Thank you so much!”
Tory Burch Stands Behind Her Brand
I often share a story about the Tory Burch brand. My friend’s Tory Burch flip flops broke while we were laid over in Beverly Hills en route to Australia. Our baggage had been misplaced by the airline so she had no other shoes. We found a Tory Burch store in Beverly Hills and went there for help. While they were able to give my friend a new pair of flip flops, they did require a small fee for the exchange. It wasn’t the money, it was the principle that a high-end brand was so petty to ask for money given that the flip flops were unwearable and our luggage was lost. I found this to be highly ridiculous and I tweeted Tory. She reached out to me lightening fast to provide me with the appropriate customer service contact to write upon our return to the states. P.S. Tory Burch’s customer service department ROCKED IT. They made the situation all better and to this day, I am a loyal Tory Burch shopper because of how they made good on an experience that didn’t feel right.
Again, it is the little things and UNEXPECTED DELIGHTS that stand out in people’s minds and make individuals want to share a great story. If you want to purchase any of these customer service books referenced above, you can find them on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.