Opportunities to impress our customers surround us every day. Even on those days that seem as if things are going according to plan, there is always something we can do to give our customers a reason to come back and do business with us – and maybe even tell their friends how great our service was.
A situation happened just recently where I was shopping with a friend of mine at a retail outlet mall while we were enjoying a weekend girls’ getaway at the beach. She bought a beautiful new handbag at a real bargain and couldn’t wait to get home to “move into” her new pocketbook.
The next day, she noticed that her handbag had a flaw, so she decided to exchange it on her way home. She took all of her personal belongings out of the bag and repacked it to make it easy for the store to make the switch.
The only problem was that she had left her checkbook and a set of keys in one of the secret pockets, and she only discovered this when she returned home to Pennsylvania. She was beside herself with worry.
On Monday morning, at the stroke of nine o’clock, she phoned the store to ask them to please check to see if the bag had been resold, and if not, to send the checkbook and keys back to her, at her expense.
Good news: The handbag was still on the shelf! Bad news: When she asked if the articles could be returned to her, she was met with resistance. She told me that because of this, she didn’t dare ask for the package to be express shipped. She felt like she was already making too much work for the clerk.
Here is where this employee might have created a customer for life:
- The clerk could have empathized, maybe even sympathized, with the customer. We’ve all been in similar situations. To lose something of value has the potential to put any of us into a panic.
- Rather than allowing the customer to make the offer of paying for shipping, the store could have offered to do this.
- The clerk could have called a few days later to ensure that the keys and checkbook were returned to my friend. That would have made me a customer for life, for sure!
To wrap up this post, let me share a few tips:
Empathize with your customers. It’s the fastest way to make a connection with them.
[tweetthis]Look for opportunities to serve your customers throughout the day. It’s the purpose of your work.[/tweetthis]
Follow through when problem-solving for your customers. It will make a lasting impression.
Are there things you’ve done in your organization to help your employees spot hidden customer service opportunities?
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