If your experiences are anything like mine, great customer service happens with very little frequency. Store checkers are grumpy. Customer service representatives are unhelpful. Helplines are an eternal series of pushing numbers and never speaking to a live person.
So when I was recently wow-ed by the same company – TWICE – I felt compelled to share.
Awesome experience #1:
One afternoon we made a business purchase with our company American Express. Somehow, our account numbers were stolen and the bad guys started wracking up purchases on our card. American Express sensed something was wrong and started calling around 3:00 a.m. (and a number of times after that) to verify these purchases. By 7:00 a.m. they shut down the card. When I woke up and checked my messages, I immediately called. The live, friendly person on the other end of the phone assured me everything was taken care of. Charges cleared and new card numbers would be secured/issued. Crisis averted all while I was sound asleep.
Awesome experience #2:
A new piece of office equipment arrived and didn’t perform as promised or expected. After months of repeated – and unanswered/never-returned – calls to tech support and customer service, I finally called American Express. They contacted the company, performed a charge back and, once again, took care of the situation.
American Express has earned my loyalty and gratitude. Great customer service has a funny way of doing that. Conversely, bad customer service will put a company on my “do not buy from ever again,” list.
These experiences were a great reminder of what good customer service feels like and how we want to serve our customers. As I write this it was also a reminder that customers talk. They talk about the good and the bad. They tell people if a product or service is worth it or not. That word-of-mouth carries a lot of weight and is often more effective than any print ad or marketing campaign a business or organization carries out.
Think about your customers, members, campers, donors, volunteers. How can you take care of them? How can you get them singing your praises? What can you do to earn their loyalty and gratitude?
Care to share some of your best and worst customer service experiences? We’re here to listen! firstname.lastname@example.org