Let’s contrast these customer service experiences, shall we?
1) I was seeking a restaurant in the Cambridge area a few weeks ago to celebrate my younger daughter’s 21st. It was a surprise and I needed a reservation for 12. I called Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel and yes, they could accommodate us at the time I wanted, but they would not guarantee that we would all be sitting together. Huh? I needed a reservation for 12 people, not two groups of six. The host was impatient with me and said, “Look I’ll do what I can, but I can’t promise anything.” I take it the rudeness came with the $45 per person fee for brunch, and no, I didn’t go there and they lost over $600.
2) I was trying to make a flight reservation on Delta for a trip in April and saw a killer deal for a first class seat. The flight had two legs and was long so I figured I’d jump on the $200 upgrade. Went through the entire process, added my credit card information, chose my seat and waited while the circle of hell swirled in front of me to complete the deal. Oh. I had the seat, no problem, but guess what? The price had jumped from $649 to $1200. I thought it was a mistake and tried again. Same thing. So I called Delta where a man who spoke the worst English I have heard in quite some time read from a script, “I’m sorry about our trouble. We reserve the right to increase our fares at any time.” I told him, well I respect that, but dude you not only doubled your price AFTER I went through the entire process, you still have the wrong price on your website.
3) Two days ago I received a pair of shoes I had ordered from Tieks. It was a pair of flats that Oprah had recommended in a sidebar on Facebook that I ordered in a happy shade of orange. I couldn’t wait to see if they would fit and opened the box in excitement. This is what I found after I opened the shipping box:
You could have knocked me over. The last pair of shoes I ordered came in this box:
Tieks’ packaging made me feel like I had received a present. I peeled off the flower, opened the box and the flats were nicely folded inside each other. And wait. There was more. As I took the shoes out and unfolded them, I spied something in the bottom of the box: A tote. Receiving footwear has never been so delightful.
Takeaways? It all comes down to creating an experience. A positive experience.
Customer service is more than a pretty box. It involves caring enough about your end user to go the extra step. And, I can’t wait to talk Tieks up. Oh. Their shoes are freaking awesome too!