Saturday, March 8, 2014

SOL Day 8: The Power of Customer Service

The quality of customer service can make or break a consumer's relationship with a company. Poor customer service, and you run the risk of losing a customer for life. Good customer service, and you may gain a loyal customer. And in this age of social media, a person's feelings towards a company based on their level of customer service can reach potentially thousands upon thousands of other consumers. How many times have you read a post on FaceBook or a tweet that starts with, "Don't ever give your business to company ABC!"?

Today, I had two separate experiences with positive customer service, both in the same place. I was doing some grocery shopping at Giant Eagle when I ended up in the produce section. I was trying to choose some broccoli, but it was all very rubbery, not firm as it should be. I was very displeased with the quality of the broccoli. I must have made a disgusted face when I turned, for there was an employee ready to stock some other vegetables, who said, "It doesn't look very good, does it?" When I explained, he said to me, "I'll go look in the back and see if we have anything better." And he did. He came back shortly with a box of broccoli and each one was firm and looked like it would be nice and crisp. How great was this level of customer service?

The second occurrence with positive customer service this trip was at the checkout. The cashier asked, as they always do, "Did you find everything okay?" There was one thing I hadn't been able to find, and when I told him what it was, he started suggesting places where I could find it. He even asked if I would like him to get someone to look for it for me, or to find out if they even had some in stock. Ordinarily, when I answer that I hadn't found everything I was looking for, the cashier just mumbles an apology or "we must be out" kind of excuse. This young man seemed truly willing to take the time to make sure that I got what I needed.

These incidents also remind me of a positive customer service experience I had last week at Raising Canes (a fast food chicken place, for those of you not familiar with it.) I had place my order for a large tray of chicken strips for my family's dinner. I was having a drink while waiting for it to be ready, when the manager calls me back to the counter. He hands me two coupons for a free meal before a word is spoken. He then says that somehow, they didn't put my chicken in when I ordered and it would be a couple of more minutes before my order was ready. He didn't wait for me to get upset that I had to wait and demand satisfaction. He was proactive and secured my goodwill before telling me there was a problem. I really appreciated that.

So, what was the result of these examples of good customer service? I will continue to be a customer of Giant Eagle and Raising Canes. I am sharing my experiences with others, which has the possibility of creating goodwill toward these companies with all those who read what I have written. A little positivity goes a long way.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right! I love that the two people went out of their way to answer your question and find that extra broccoli. It makes all the difference at the end of the day to know that you've been helped just a little, and there's something special about being helped by a stranger. I'm all about taking the time to help someone just a little--life is hard enough without it that I take the time to help a little whenever I can. Just a thought: Lead with the second paragraph so that your anecdotal stories grab your readers.