Little to say?
No, that’s not why I haven’t posted anything this week. I wanted something positive to say.
It’s hard to find shining examples of good service but I found one this week. I saw an item that I thought would be excellent for I called the manufacturer and tried to order this item but found out the item was not available to resellers. The company only sells this particular item directly to end users.
The conversation ended positively. I like this company. The person I spoke with was a brilliant customer service provider. Thanks Jennifer!
Huh? I didn’t get what I wanted so how can the service be so great? Oh, she promised to try and work it out for me? No, not really. She offered to fight all the way to the top for me to be able to buy a case of this wonderful item? No. She cried in sympathy with me? Nope.
Here’s what she said. “Unfortunately this is not a dealer item and is not available at wholesale.” That’s brilliant. I could call a thousand businesses—probably yours—and not be rejected that professionally. I’d get, “We don’t sell that to dealers.” Or, “dealers can’t buy that item because we only sell it directly”. (Can you hear the ha ha ha in that?) And there’s the drama queen who would relish the opportunity to turn me down with, “Huh? You can’t buy those! Nobody but customers can buy those!”
I am a customer of this company. I’m one of their dealers.
I’m probably wasting my time writing this because so few readers will actually get the subtlety of Jennifer’s choice of words. And of that few who get it, few will actually change anything at their business.
Jennifer went on to say, “That item would be a perfect fit for your business. I could look into it further for you but I highly doubt I can get them for you.” STOP. END. QUIET.
Here’s what she did:
She told me no.
She sympathized without being corny: “Unfortunately…”
She expressed understanding “a perfect fit for your business” (That really felt nice)
She offered to pursue the matter but properly set the expectations “I highly doubt…”
No sarcasm. No joy in being able to reject a dealer. (I am a dealer for their other items)
No phoney tears. No false promises about moving heaven and earth. No, “I’ll try” and then not. And no wasting of my time with “call me back” nonsense.
The whole thing took 2 minutes of my time and I came away feeling very good about my relationship with this company.
Another company I deal with, one with whom I have spent $10,000 in 30 days, botched up my last order. They owe me a credit of $700 for THEIR screw-up. Goof in accounting emailed me this morning with, “Sorry, the paperwork hasn’t come through yet.” That’s my problem? Goof doesn’t seem to care that they owe me, a customer, $700 because Goof’s company can’t properly package goods for shipment. Goof thinks the lack of “paperwork” is the problem. Goof is the problem. And that company is loaded with Goofs. And they’re losing money. And they won’t change. People like Goof don’t change. You can teach procedure but you can’t teach “care”. If they don’t care, you can’t change them. Goof has no idea what customer service is. No idea. He doesn’t think about customer service because he’s in accounting.
Does everyone at YOUR business understand that they work in customer service?
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog