Monday, 13 October 2008

Great customer service

Excellent Customer Service

I seem to spend most of my time these days on the wrong end of one of those calls to customer services complaining about something or other, or more often than not just trying to get the very basic level of service you would expect as a valued customer.

The other day for instance I was on the phone to Start-Rite, from whom I’d bought my daughter’s first pair of shoes; which rather unfortunately started to fall to bits two weeks after purchase. After a lengthy wait and a few attempts to talk to someone from the customer services department (which apparently they don’t have...) I finally managed to speak to someone who informed me – as an opening gambit, ‘We have no legal obligation to help you’... Now my purpose here isn’t to bash Start-Rite, who eventually managed to solve my issue. You’ll be pleased to know that I have a different and wholly more pleasant purpose.
The other day (here we go again), I found myself on the phone to Ladybird books. A brief bit of history - My sister had bought my daughter a book (Noisy Noisy Boo – it’s about monsters), which sadly didn’t make any noise (as advertised).
After 4 rings the phone was answered by an alert sounding lady. I explained my problem. She asked my name and address. ‘OK sir, we’ll put another in the post for you today.’ I nearly choked on my cornflakes!
‘What that’s it?’ I asked. ‘You don’t need me to send it back or anything?’
‘Well you can if you like sir, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t.’
I went to the sorting office today to pick up my parcel... which had arrived the next day (when I was out). I immediately opened the parcel to give my expectant daughter her prize... and what should I find? Not one, but two books with a little hand written note apologising for the trouble and offering the second book as a free gift!
Customer service is the most important thing in business. It’s the most important marketing tool. It ensures that those customers that already by into you, keep doing so. Ladybird get this and it is to their immense credit.
I’m off to a mothers group this evening and I intend to bore them all to death about how good ladybird are. My Niece is also very very likely to get a ladybird book for her birthday.
And the really good news is that in a digitally connected world, this type of strong customer service has a much more powerful effect than ever before. I’m writing about it, you’re reading it and hopefully there’ll be a few more people well disposed to ladybird than ever before.

1 comment:

Hazem said...

I couldn't agree more, I find that 'customer service' is a dying art! I find that I now spend most of my time explaining why xyz shouldn't be the case even though most of the time you'd think it's common sense. I am glad that I am not the only one who did this.

Did you get the nice lady's name? She's definitely a rare find!