- What’s one of your all-time favorite excellent customer service stories?
- Have you ever worked in retail or a job where you had to provide customer service? What was your experience like?
- Any CS horror stories?
- How do you like to be treated when you walk into a brick & mortar store? After a “hello” would you rather be left alone? or asked if you need any help/told about the latest deals?
- I can’t think of a fifth question 😉
I think a lot about customer service now. Sure, I like to receive excellent service, but now that I also run a (very small) retail business, I have to GIVE it too. It’s not hard for me to do; I naturally believe that the customer is always right, and will default to doing whatever I can to make her happy, without regard to my bottom line. Every customer is a potential repeat customer, and first impressions are key. If I mess up, I do whatever I need to do to make it right – I think it costs a lot more to provide poor customer service than it does to provide excellent.
Anyway…on to my answers:
My latest all-time favorite excellent CS story: I finally placed a recurring order at Livwell Nutrition for the vegan vanilla protein powder I so desperately love I ran out once. After placing my order I got an email from someone (one of the owners?) that their shipment of vanilla was delayed several days and couldn’t ship out immediately, but as an apology would I accept a free bag of cocoa? Uh, yes please. That’s a $29 value, and very generous, considering they could have sent some free samples, or like other companies do, a discount off a future order, or partial refund. The company wanted me to have my protein powder quickly, which I appreciated.
I don’t love the cocoa as much as the vanilla, but I can tell you now, that Livwell has a customer for life. And I hope if you’re shopping for vegan protein powder you’ll consider them as well. The vanilla is excellent; I’ve been using it for months and really enjoy it as a way to get a little more protein, and a few servings of greens (I add 1/3 of a GIANT tub of spinach to it, along with frozen blueberries and frozen cauliflower).
I also had a great experience at Home Depot recently, am always impressed by the service at Elizabeth Suzann, and I appreciate Nordstrom’s customer service team. The sales associates on the floor are another story altogether though…
When I was going to graduate school and after my divorce I worked at Starbucks, so definitely had to provide great customer service there, and I generally loved it. Also, back then (not sure about now?) the company was very supportive of us doing whatever we needed to do to make the customer happy – we had complete discretion to hand out free drink coupons if we needed to. Working the drive thru was challenging though…why do people have to be so short and nasty when they’re in a “hurry”??
It’s weird, but I tend not to remember the bad CS experiences as much as the good ones. Maybe I just move on and don’t shop there again? I can say that I’ve NEVER had great customer service from a cable or broadband service provider…
I love a warm “hello” and an acknowledgement that I’ve walked in, and that’s it. I don’t want to be followed around, or told about the specials, or even asked if I need help by every single sales associate on the floor (that happens at Ulta and it drives me crazy). Maybe if I look like I’m struggling to find something, or need help, I appreciate more attention, but otherwise, I’m very happy to be left alone.
I have noticed at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus lately that all the sales associates have crossbody bags with phones in them, ostensibly for clienteling or looking items up online, but more often than not, I see them at the registers hunched over their phones, and it looks like they’re checking texts or Instagram or something. Of course I have no way to know what it is they’re doing, but I find it pretty off-putting in general.