Thursday, July 21, 2005

Perfect Customer Service

This morning I went into my local Kinko's to pick up an order that I had placed earlier that day. The store was pretty busy. A cashier was directly in front of me, setting up the till. As she was counting out the money I asked her if "I should come back later?" She snapped at me "I am doing the best I can!" as she walked over to another customer.

Perhaps you are thinking "Laurie, you are calling THIS 'perfect customer service'? Boy, you must be easily amused." Actually the story goes on...Even though I was taken aback I waited patiently for her to return. When she did I said "I am really sorry, I wasn't trying to push you, I really wanted to know if I should come back later." Her face softened and she replied" I am so sorry. I shouldn't have taken it out on you. I am frustrated that there were not enough people scheduled for work."

Again, you might think "Laurie, an apology does not make "perfect customer service". Well you are right--so far it wasn't perfect but how she handled the rest of the transaction made it perfect.
She rang me up and took my money. But I realized she charged me less that my bill stated. "Um, excuse me" I said " You undercharged me." Her answer delighted me. "Oh, I gave you the rude salesperson rate!"

She managed to turn a very unhappy situation to a great one. She had followed the simple rules for customer service and then some!
1. Apologize with empathy
2. Take care of the problem
3. Symbolic atonement
4. Be light hearted

It is so interesting that a bad experience can turn around so quickly into a great experience. I have been telling everyone (including you) about how great Kinkos is.

Think about the last time you created a problem for your customer. What could you have done to make it better and in fact make it "PERFECT"? Try to think on your feet the next time and turn it around.

No comments: