There is good and bad customer service, but the best customer service is when a retailer fixes a problem on behalf of the client. I recently purchased a table and 4 chairs from Structube which is one of my favorite stores. Structube features modern furniture at affordable prices with stylish designs.
The store managaer, Alicia as well as the assistant manager, Gloria, took care of my dilemma. I realized that the table and chairs would not fit in my new small house. So, I decided to return them to the store. Unfortunately, I was away for a week and only returned the items several weeks after purchase. When I returned the items, the store manager informed me thay she could not take them back due to their 7 day return policy. Despite my disappointment, she was only doing her job and adhering to the company policy.
The main problem with customer service is that employeed are not empowered to make decisions of their own accord. And that is the reason why policies are a mistake. The only policy that should exist can be summed up in two words, customer first.
I worked at Mount Royal Commemorative Services as Director of Sales and Marketing. The Executive Director once asked me to prepare a customer service manuaĺ. At the meeting to launch the manual several weeks later, I sat down with the team and gave everyone a single sheet of paper that said ” families first ” and that’s all we needed. Make all your customer service decisions based on this premise and you will never go wrong.
In sum, Alicia and Gloria were just doing their job. And they did it very well. I commend them in the way they handled the situation. But they were handcuffed by company policy. They should have had the power to do what the head office decided to to which was to refund my money. I had to go through a lengthy process to reach a conclusion that we could have easily reached. So, empower your employees to make the right decision. They are on the front lines and inherently know what to do. Just do the right thing and you will never go wrong.
At the end of the day, I will continue to be a Structube customer and I will continue to be an evangelist for Structube. A much better role than the opposite, And instead of getting my money back, I purchased a smaller table for about the same price as my small table and chairs. Everybody won.
For more information on customer service, visit http://www.customerservicesucks.ca