Customer Service Means Learning From Your Mistakes
We Must Always Improve How We Service Our Customers
So many companies talk about servicing their customers and learning from their mistakes. My personal belief is those who truly apply it to what they do will be successful and those who don’t will suffer. Sometimes ‘bean counters’ look at the cost of servicing a customer and conclude it is too expensive. At the very core of our company is a belief that first it is not about counting the pennies and second, in the long run, it is far more economical to take care of every customer.
This morning, I received a call from a customer who simply put did not believe we honored our word when it came to this policy. The freight company lost her roll of seam tape and her installers were not able to install their garage floor mats. Her husband had called several times and did not understand why this issue was not resolved.
Calling the Customer Back
Sometimes situations come up where we simply cannot resolve the problem then and there. One thing I have always stressed to my staff is even if we can’t resolve the issue yet or even if we do not have the answer yet, every customer should be contacted back before we leave for the day to let them know we are working on it for them.
In investigating this issue, what we found was that the phone number on the packing list for the material has the manufacturers phone number. The customer thought they were contacting us and in fact they had been speaking with the manufacturer.
Being Prepared to Fix The Problem
Stuff happens and as a business you need to be in a position to resolve issues as soon as possible. In discussing the situation with the manufacturer, part of the solution became clear. We are bringing some rolls of seam tape into our offices so if an issue comes up we can personally send it out right away. They are going to do the same. We are also working on packaging ideas to find ways to make sure that a small roll of seam tape does not get lost on a 10′ pallet.
For this customer, our long-term resolutions was not going to fix their short-term problems. The simple solution was to overnight a replacement roll and that is what we did. Sometimes overnight shipping is not an option. Here it was. We also credited them back for the cost of the roll since they did not have it when they wanted it.
Why point out our flaws?
First, we are not perfect. Like any company issues happen from time to time. This particular issue pointed out a way that we could place future resolutions within our direct control –as opposed to someone at a warehouse hundreds of miles away. We believe our customers will appreciate the fact that we are willing to look at better ways to solving the problems that can arise from time to time.