Super Customer Experience: Like a Shiny New Car!
by Kate Nasser | 9 Comments »
Super Customer Experience: Honor the Customer
Image by: J-Rod85 via Flickr Creative Commons License.
Businesses that deliver a super customer experience, do so with actions that honor the customer as a person. As a business owner or leader, if you think of what you consider to be a super customer experience — you will find that it honors you.
Here’s a true super customer experience story from Twitter connection Jeff Allen, @bjaj1:
The year was 1999 and I was rewarding myself for two good years of sales performance with a new car — a Chrysler 300M – their newest model. I purchased from a well respected local dealership – Hayes Chrysler in Larenceville, GA. After the purchase I started having new car model issues with several annoying trips to service. The dealership was responsive and persistent in resolving the issues. Ultimately a computer upgrade in that model eliminated all the issues!
I took it in for a routine maintenance 3 months later, I mentioned to them that something didn’t seem right with the paint job. It looked cloudy not crisp and clean like the showroom model. He connected me directly with the factory rep who looked at the car and said yes indeed there was a problem.
He offered 3 options: A free bumper to bumper 100K warranty or a new paint job. I told the rep I wasn’t interested in the warranty and was impressed with the offer of a paint job yet wanted to hear the 3rd option. The rep said … or a trade in.
I told him I didn’t want to take a hit on 3 month old car with 13K miles. The rep quickly said … you won’t take a hit. There’s no cost. A new car for the one with the defective paint job! I said it’s a deal, shook his hand, and thanked him for taking such good are of a me.
Super Customer Experience: Honor the Customer …
The rep acted with trust that the customer was reporting the truth. He didn’t suggest that the customer had done something to make the paint job cloudy.
With integrity by owning the problem.
When customers buy a shiny new car like the one in the showroom, deliver that — not a repainted one. It honors the trust the customers gave when they bought a shiny new car from you. It also says to the customer: You deserve the reward you were giving yourself — a shiny new car. Now for 14 years he has felt that Chrysler also honored and rewarded him. He has told this story to everyone and now I tell it to you.
When a customer is disappointed for any reason, make it easy for them to voice their views and easy for them to get and be happy with a remedy.
When business leaders of non-luxury products and services hear these true stories, they often think it applies only to high end markets. Not true.
All customers expect to receive the same quality as they were shown and sold. Chrysler didn’t upgrade Jeff to a more expensive model. They simply lived up to what he was shown and sold. No excuses, no mistrust, no tap dance of conditions.
Super customer experience is not complicated when core beliefs of trusting and honoring the customer emerge consistently with authenticity and ease. Ask your teams, how do we honor the customer and how can we do it better? And watch the super customer experiences happen before the customers’ eyes!
What super customer experience story will you share with us to continue the learning?
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
Customer Service Defined to Be Unforgettable
Customer Experience: People Skills Create Profitable Experience
©2013 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email email@example.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
Your words “actions that honor the customer as a person” sum it up.
Those words sum up my view and I am honored that they touch you that way as well.
Many thanks for contributing here!
Kate – What a great story! Truly illustrates that the best way to look good is not to make excuses but to deliver exceptional service with trust and high integrity! Thanks for sharing Jeff’s experience her on your blog.
Thank you Alli. I know Jeff was very happy to share the story and I love the simple lessons we can all learn and remember!
Customer bought BlackBerry phone in our store. It broke after 2 weeks. Service took 10 days longer and our shop representative failed to inform customer. Customer was really pissed off with situation as he was calling 3 times and none could help him instead said to wait. I found out about this situation and understood that it will not be enough with apology and bottle of wine. So instead we visited customer in his home and apologized for situation saying that we are truly sorry and gave him new BB and one more new white BB for his wife. Now we have one more really loyal customer despite the all trouble.
What a terrific vision you have about customer satisfaction Ivars. The new Blackberry’s you gave them will leave a lasting memory of great service that they will share with others!
Return on your investment of care — tremendous.
Thanks for sharing the story here.
I was once a technical support representative in one contact center. One day I received a call from a very upset customer because he has issues with his device and he said he don’t like our hold music. He said it was annoying and made him even more upset. I know I can’t change our hold music just that and I need to put him on hold to dig deeper into my tools so I can resolve his technical issues. So I asked him what was his favorite song, put him on hold but I didn’t press the hold button. I just sang the customers favorite song although I was not good singer. The customer with a confuse tone in his voice asked me what I was doing. I answered, “sir, I know I’m not a good singer but since our hold time music annoys you, I am trying to sing in my best voice so you don’t have to listen to our annoying hold time music. I hope this song will still be your favorite song after this call.” And the customer laughed very hard that he almost forgot about his problems with his device. My quality assurance score for that call was very low because according to my QA specialist, that wasn’t a standard customer service but my stats are saved because the customer gave me 100% in the customer survey and gave me a kudos.
While I was reading your article, I just felt to share my own experience. I hope you don’t mind Kate. And thanks for sharing this story.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did. It was from the heart, customer focused, appropriately funny, and illustrated the concept of focusing on one customer at a time.
The fact that your QA score was low because it wasn’t standard service proves my point — that scripts and solidified best practices often undermine the excellent service they are supposed to sustain!
May I have permission to use your story in a future blog post with credit to you of course?
With my gratitude for illustrating what initiative and ownership is all about,
?True! Adhering to the script for QA purposes sometimes limits the capability of the agents to engage to their customers and sometimes it limits our being human! I know some customers are complaining because the representative on the other line sounds like a robot or a machine. It’s not the fault of the representative because honestly, it’s hard to sound like a normal person when you have to read each and every word of a very long script.
There’s another experience I had. It was near the end of December 2012. A customer called saying that he can’t open his email and he said he’s afraid that the world will end and he will not be able to see his emails. At that time we are having email issues and I told him that the best I can do was to escalate his concern to level 2 and he will receive a call back. I know waiting for a call back doesn’t sound like a good news to the customer so I managed to crack a joke. I told him, “Sir I apologize I have to escalate your concern to level 2 but they will call you back within 24 hours to resolve this issue for you. And rest assured, you will be able to see your emails before the world ends.” The customer laughed and from the tone of his voice, I can say that he is a lot more eager to wait for the call back. Luckily, that call was not monitored.
Now that I’m not taking calls anymore, I always encourage our agents to treat each customer experience as unique and different. That they can use their intuition, instincts or whatever human emotions they have to relate to their customers. The sad part is that some companies or brands that we represent don’t believe in the same principle. They keep on pressuring us to follow the script as it is and when the agents tries to talk to the customer with their own way of talking or in the way that they see fit, they are being punished.
Regarding your request to use the story from my previous comment for future writings, Kate you’re very much welcome to use it. I know my QA did not liked what I did but because of you I know I did the right thing. If there’s anything I can do to help, just email me anytime.