Great customer service

I’m a sucker for great customer service stories. This morning Seth Godin writes about a memorable experience that a woman had with Zappos.com.

Here’s what I take away from the story:

1) Ask your customer service people to act like real human beings: there’s nothing more frustrating that listening to a customer service person tell you the policies. When I’ve been in this situation in the past, I stop and ask the person on the phone to “imagine that we’re out having a beer together.” Talk to me like a real person — don’t call me Mr. Douglas and use “sir” at the end of every sentence. Call me Matt and talk to me like you want to help me on a personal level.

2) If you have employees, empower them to do the right thing. Provide them with the ability to go above and beyond the policies. In this story, the Zappos employee had budget authority beyond the typical solution. Find a way to help your customer service employees make a lasting impression.

Zappos is an interesting company. I’ve never used the site, but I hear great things. I love the name too (Necessitas zappos por los pies). Go ahead and read the story, it’s worth a minute. And if you’re in the market for new shoes, let me know your experience with Zappos.

(Note to shoe-loving wife: please do not visit Zappos.com or any other site that makes it really easy to buy shoes. I fear what you might do. Love, Matt).

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One Response to Great customer service

  1. Laurel says:

    All of this is so true. I had a fantastic customer experience recently at Trader Joe’s. My kids are a bit all over the place and “energetic” but we can always shop there knowing that the staff will be helpful (“he went that way!”), understanding (“I see there’s a bite taken out of this cheese; would you like to get another block?”) and accommodating (“Oh, I’ll just scan the waffle box so she doesn’t have to relinquish it”). One Saturday our checkout-guy gave my TJ-obsessed 4yo a bland Trader Joe’s gift card…heaven, for DAYS. I emailed the store at the address on their website expressing my long-term appreciation and gratitude for everything, and the next day the guy who had checked us out called me on my supplied number and thanked me for my comment. We still see him there all the time, and it’s kind of awesome to have this personal relationship with this one staff member. Plus, I know his manager got the message that he was so great. Little things are not so little.

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