I’ve written about good customer service in the past, highlighting my excellent experience with L.L. Bean. I’ve postulated that quality customer service is actually free, because the incremental sales more than make up for “excessive” talk time and refunds/credits granted by your customer service representatives.
Here’s a trivially-observed example of what lousy customer service will cost you. In this example, from Verizon, it’s a minimum of $100.
Ever get email that just makes you wonder who’s minding the shop? I was looking to redeem some My Coke Rewards points for a free T-shirt and couldn’t find anything in my size. I filled out an on-site question and got a response back in 3 minutes.
This was good! Unfortunately it was a response that only told me they were going to respond and triggered some laughter on my part.
The email took me right back to the early days of the first CRM systems and looked like a programmer’s “default” response that nobody at Coke‘s vendor could be bothered to adjust. Well, it’s only been two years since the program launched, so perhaps I need to give them some time.
In all honesty, I truly believe that Coke will put the right sizes back in stock and I’ll be happy. I’ve never had anything other than a good experience with their products and practically marinade in Coke Zero. I just wish they’d read their emails before they sent them out.
Summary and key takeaways
Check all your customer communications by putting yourself in their place. That means log in at home, at night and do the strange and wonderful things that our customers do. See how you respond and see if it makes sense.
Put your customer communications on the wall. The best idea I’ve heard is to set up a room and lay out everything you do to communicate with your customers, in the order in which it’s sent. On the stuff that doesn’t make sense, is off brand strategy or just ugly, tag it with a red sticker. Then start punching through in priority order, particularly the things that hurt conversion or drive down ARPU or unit of sale.
Read my email chain with KO after the jump. photo credit: myuibe
Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L. Bean that is not completely satisfactory.
Unlike a lot of companies, L.L. Bean really lives by their guarantee.
I’m not normally one to carry on about my experiences with fast casual dining establishments, even though we frequent them as a by-product of having two children who are connoisseurs of the category. The food quality can be variable, as can the staff attention to the customers.
But that’s all changed after Saturday’s experience at Famous Dave’s restaurant, where I had a terrific customer experience which doubled as a strong CRM effort on the part of the chain.
My wife and I had the luxury of a few minutes without the kids and, while driving by the restaurant, decided we should stop for lunch. We’d never been to the restaurant, although we’ve driven past the place every weekend for the past several years.
On entry, we were greeted by a smiling young man who welcomed us and held the door. His co-worker, equally welcoming, promptly seated us and informed us that our server would be with us shortly.
The CRM magic started when Chris came by our booth.