One of the cardinal rules of great customer service is be helpful - even if there's no immediate profit in it. That’s never been truer than today; a customer who feels truly special and cared for has more channels to express themselves than ever before. We hear quite a bit about the power of negative reviews; many companies spend millions trying to recover poorly-served customers, but the positive impact of a happy customer also deserves attention.Case in point, Crate & Barrel has awesome customer service. And now all my friends, and friends of friends, and probably even their friends, know it. I bought 2 glasses from Crate & Barrel a few months ago. One arrived chipped. I called to see about getting it replaced, I was all geared up to argue my case to the representative on the phone. I was ready to try and prove that it arrived chipped, I wanted to make sure she knew that I wasn’t lying about it to get something for free. Of course, I assumed I would have to send it back, so they could see that it was indeed chipped and mark it in some inventory database somewhere, and basically go through a lot of trouble to get my unchipped glass.
The customer service rep didn’t question me at all. She looked it up in the database, saw that I had ordered the glasses, apologized for one being chipped, and said she would send a replacement out right away. She said as far as the chipped glass goes – I could keep it and use it as a flower vase or throw it out or do whatever I wanted with it. I got the new one 2 days later. It could not have been easier or more pleasant.
I was so excited about the whole experience that I immediately posted on Facebook about it.
Facebook and Yelp have, of course, helped revolutionize customer service. Before them, a bad experience could be emailed around to friends, talked about at gatherings, you might have even written to the company itself. But these channels only reached so many people. Now, however, through Facebook, Yelp, and countless other online review sites, we can reach thousands of potential customers in one second. We can literally tell the world about our experience, good or bad. This is a pretty powerful motivator for companies to go above and beyond in the customer service department, and we can thank social media for that.
Jessica is a data manager for CMB’s Technology, e-Commerce, and Medical Devices practice. She always reads reviews or consults Yelp before buying any new products or services.