A Service Comparison

Customers patronize many different companies, some small, some large.  But customers do not differentiate between them when comparing their experiences as customers: every company is measured against the performance of all the rest.  This means it is especially important for us to not only compete against our marketplace competitors, because every industry is our competitor [...]

What to do When the Point of Service Fails

Another name for a customer service representative is simply: Fixer.  Our job centers around fixing customer problems.  Sometimes they are problems with the product, or the website, or a return.  But other times, they are problems customers have experienced at the point of sale or service.  It is our duty to handle these situations with [...]

Service Simplicity Doesn’t Beat Accuracy

When we asked about easily avoidable customer service frustrations, responses ran the gamut of experiences.  But one theme stood out overall: it is more valuable to be 100% accurate than it is to be 100% accommodating to our customers.  Consider Greatta's story for an illustration as to why. Gretta had ordered a large rug online.  [...]

Why Customers Expect Communication

"I just made a big purchase: a car.  The caveat was that they had to find one with my selected options, so it was a drawn out experience.  And while I was very excited about the final product, the process was really stressful because I never knew what was going on or when things should [...]

Setting the Standard: A Lowe’s Employee Sits Down

A woman in Wilkesboro, North Carolina is the proud owner of Baxter, a special needs rescue dog.  Baxter requires the assistance of a doggy wheelchair and, when his owner, Amy Jo Martin, decided to upgrade his chair with an anti-tip wheel, she headed to Lowe's for ideas as well as parts. Ms. Martin asked at [...]

How Heidi Does Service

In customer service stories, we often hear about exceptional circumstances that compel a representative to provide service far out of the norm.  But, like we've frequently discussed, quality service has to be consistently pursued day in and day out.  Heidi, who works for the grocer Trader Joe's, shared her approach to ensuring a constant delivery [...]

Scripted Service Can Backfire

Photo credit: Say_No_To_Turtles "It's a great day at Wendy's Widgets!  How may we serve you?"  If this is what you first hear upon calling a customer service department, you're likely to pick up on it being a scripted greeting.  And while the sentiment is nice, does scripting pleasantries devalue the experience? If you [...]

How to Surprise Your Customers

Photo by Daderot Where do you expect to find great customer service?  A high end hotel?  Definitely.  A fancy restaurant?  Of course.  A big department store?  Absolutely.  What about the grocery store?  The grocery store?  Beyond a smile at checkout, where are the opportunities for service there?  Actually, they're everywhere when employees are [...]

A Culture of Caring

In all of our businesses, we are committed to cultivating a culture of caring for our customers.  But where does that culture come from?  How do we get to the point where actively caring is so natural that it seems the obvious answer to throw in a pair of cozy socks when a customer orders [...]

3 Phrases to Avoid

Artwork by Rick & Brenda Beerhorst As a society, our language norms are becoming more and more relaxed.  The same hold true in the business environment.  But should it?  While our customers may be part of this trend in their daily lives, they still appreciate a more tailored conversation when dealing with us [...]