I was grumbling last week about poor customer service so I’d like to right the balance and talk about good customer service this week. It only seems fair and I’d like to start with the same company that caused me all the grief in the first place. I’m still not going to name them because I don’t want to draw attention to the initial issue but they must have recognised themselves because on Saturday morning there was a knock on the door. I wasn’t home, (will the rugby season ever end?) but Steve answered it to the owner of the company. Not a man that either of us had spoken to when trying to sort out the bill. He had seen the article, realised we were talking about his company and was horrified at the charging policy. He came with an apology, a cheque and a lovely attitude. At no point did he ask for a retraction or for me to write something about the refund. The refund was not for the full amount but for the excess which seemed right and proper, I had no objection to paying something for the service and as he said, for such a small job so close to home you use your commonsense and charge accordingly.
When I got home Steve told me about what had happened and I was thrilled. Not about the money and not about the apology but about the fact that there’s a really nice bloke out there that cares about his business and cares about his customers and that he’s prepared to take responsibility for when things go wrong in his name. I didn’t write the article to get my money back, that’s not what I’m about and so I’m going to give the money to the RNLI, as I’ve mentioned in the past my sister is RNLI crew so it’s close to home and of course me and my family seem to spend half our lives in the water so it makes sense.
Good customer service always hits the right spot. Sometimes it’s about going the extra mile, popping in to a customer’s house after work to drop off the umbrella they left behind. Sometimes it means taking a financial hit; it might not be your fault that Royal Mail lost your consignment but it’s not your customer’s either, so refund them straightaway and then undertake the claim on their behalf. Other times it’s just thinking about what your customer might appreciate; providing wellies when they stay at your cottage or presenting them with a birthday cake at the end of their meal. Recently on Facebook Finisterre, a local outdoor clothing company, asked for dogs to join their “wolf pack” it was a silly thing but lots of us had fun posting up photos of our dogs. The next thing I knew they’d sent Harry a dog biscuit in the post. A small thing but what a clever thing to do. I was pleased at such a friendly gesture and they now have my mailing details and someone who is well disposed towards them.
Even when times are tough we take more than just the price into account when we shop. A smile costs nothing and can be the difference between a repeat sale and a lost customer. So now I’m going to have to practice what I preach and starts getting my grins ready for the hundredth person who tells me someone needs to tarmac over the cobbles in Mevagissey.