Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Customer Service - So Close

It happens all the time. An employee is empowered to provide great customer service, and then finds a way to make it a bad experience anyway.

Colleen was planning a camping trip the other day. She bought a bunch of pre-packaged meals at Mountain Equipment Co-Op, then realized she'd bought too much. So she went back to the store to return them.

This was MEC's opportunity to provide a great experience. They're not supposed to take back food, and it would have been OK if they hadn't since it seems like a fair policy. But instead they did take it back, which would have been a great experience, except for the fact that the employee that accepted the return did so in a very unpleasant manner, almost making us feel guilty that she was doing so.

If you're going to go above and beyond for a customer, don't try to make them feel badly about it. Instead, show them that you're glad to help them. Make them feel that the extra effort is a pleasure, simply because you appreciate your business. They'll appreciate it a lot more, and are far more likely to spread the positive word.

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