It’s hard to come to a consensus on what “good customer service” is. But, bad customer service is less debatable – you just know it and feel it when you experience it. At times, there are just outright weird customer service experiences that you just can’t explain.
I was recently sent a survey about customer service and my thoughts on how to best provide customer service. One of the question in the survey was interesting:
One of your customers has just said to you, “The service here is terrible.” You should say:
- What is it about the service that you have not liked?
- Would you like to fill out a complaint form? I can get one for you.
- I realize our service is poor today. We are understaffed, so I apologize.
- I am really sorry to hear you say that, but we are trying as hard as we can.
Terrible Customer Service Stories
A quick google search on the phrase “Customer Service” will return results like the following:
- TMobile Customer Service Sucks
- ATT Customer Service Complaints
- Poor Customer Service
And on, and on, and on. If google queries and google searches represent the overall sentiment of the people searching them, then google searches on “Customer Service” says that we are, overall, not very happy with it.
In sharp contrast, Zappos.com asked on its Facebook Wall the following question:
At Zappos.com everyone in the company strives to deliver the very best customer service to our customers as well as our coworkers. Is there an establishment you frequent often (Stores, Restaurants, Etc.) because you enjoy the customer experience they provide? (Please, no bad mouthing. We only want to hear about GREAT customer service!)
To which the question received over 100 responses. Here are a few companies that deliver wonderful customer service, according to the respondents:
- Cindy Daniel Condos www.diapers.com – great for anyone who has a baby/toddler. Free overnight shipping for orders over $50, great selection of everything for baby (not just diapers) at great prices (cheaper than Costco). I was bitter that I didn’t know about them until my daughter was 6 mos old!).
- Bill Stanton Stew Leonards in Norwalk CT. His motto is Rule #1 “The Customer is Always Right!” Rule #2 Re-read Rule #1
- Lorraine Lescroart Frank I have to brag about my own job. I am a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines and we’ve been voted the best customer service serveral times….:-)
- Justin Van Gundy this may sound funny but Valvoline oil change has the best customer service and they are all extremely friendly. They are a lot more expensive than most but I continue to take all my vehicles there. It’s a major turn off when you are being helped by an employee with a less than enthusiastic attitude.
- Kelly Brockette ok, I am surprised no one else has mentioned Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI. Zingermans.com. they have reached a HUGE number of people in the almost 30 years they have been in business and surpass anyone customer service-wise! check them out!!!
- Tamara Edson STARBUCKS! I have about four of them that I frequent regularly and always get great service. Of course ZAPPOS ROCKS when it comes to customer service too!
- Lorenzo Gomez III montblanc. I went in there to buy a pen for an old latin teacher of mine that won an award. Not only were they super helpful but about a week later i got a hand written note in the mail asking if my teacher had enjoyed the gift. customer for life. boom
- Karen Cammarata Customer service? What’s that?! I live an hour north of NYC and nobody here seems to care about anybody but themselves. I love traveling down south/out west b/c the attitudes are incredible and you leave feeling really crappy about the east coast. The only stores we get decent (and that’s even a stretch) customer service at are Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy and sometimes Target. I know, you only wanted to hear about GREAT customer service, but I really think Zappos can provide a platform for other companies to build on. Bottle up that awesomeness and sell it to other retailers!!! 🙂
- Lance Beres IKEA!!!! Hands down an awesome store. Great customer service and selection within everyone’s budget.
How would you answer the question above? I’m curious.
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What, you mean we can’t say, “That’s the way we’ve always done it?”
Also, it helps for the front line employee to know what the customer standard is, and not just be driven by a gross sales target or metrics that only engineers understand (95% efficiency rate).