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How was our customer service

 

I recently return a rented car
from a trip down to Indianapolis for the 2011 HR Indiana Conference that we attended.  When approached by the guy who handles the car return at my local Enterprise Rent-a-car, I was a bit taken back by the first question I was hit with.  It wasn’t “How was your trip”, “Do you need any help with your flight information” and it wasn’t even a simple “Hi there”.

How was our customer service, sir?
I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t have any problems, and instantly that’s all I could think of.  I picked up the car, the car ran, and now I’m dropping it off.  I replied “Eh, I guess it was OK.  I didn’t really have any problems”.  The gentleman helping me said he was so sorry to hear that I didn’t have an over the top customer experience and went on to explain how that is very important to him.  He wanted to make sure that his location treated everyone like a long time friend, and treated me as such.  I smiled and said “You’re right about that.  Thank you.  You get it.”

Customer service is not just for problems.
Any time you interact at all with a company, they are servicing you, yet most of us think about problem resolution when it comes to customer service.  Maybe it’s because there’s a customer service department for problem resolution that leads so many of us to think this way.  I certainly remember a handful of times in my life when a problem has been fixed, and the agent has gone over the top.  However, the only time I can remember being serviced so much better than I expected was a gift card I bought from Zappos for my wife.  You all know the drill.  It showed up the next day even though I chose the free ground shipping.

Service better than your competitors.
Figure it out.  Automatically increase the order quantity, rush the shipping, add a hand signed letter, give them some free stuff, greet everyone who walks in your door.  Do something and do it better than anyone else.  This is how we make customer experiences that are so remarkable that people talk about it.  It shows your customers that you care, and they’re just not on the receiving end of your factory that churns out products.  This experience reminded me about all of the books and posts I’ve read about the customer experience, and I’m glad that someone’s trying to change the customer service perception.

So what about you?  Got a great “non-problem” customer service story?  Please share.  Help spread the message that Zappos doesn’t need to be the only company that exceeds our expectations.

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