Customer service was lacking big time at the place we bought the tub!
After struggling with a bad back for years, my husband finally broke down and got himself a hot tub. He uses it religiously and recognizes that it was a wonderful investment in his health. Recently the cover broke and he had to order another one. Calling upon the place we purchased the tub from originally, you would think would have been the best solution. It wasn’t.
8 weeks later and we are barely able to open the cover.
Why? Because the new one is not here. My husband got one call back after numerous messages and we were told the manager will call back again with the answer to where it was. Then we got an excuse that the wrong one was ordered and had to be resubmitted. Then we got the call that the cover was in and did we want to pick it up? Are you kidding me? We had paid for installation and it’s rather large, to say the least, so we said no and asked to reschedule. We didn’t hear back for a week. Then they called again yesterday and said the guy who normally does the cover installations was in a car accident and they are 2 weeks behind schedule with limited backup. So why didn’t anyone call us to say this. We are compassionate souls. We would have understood.
ARGH! I am this close to cancelling the order and starting over with a new company.
And then it hit me!
I have read Peter Shankman’s book Zombie Loyalist, cover to cover and could not agree with him more. Most of the customer service today is total crap and we tend to accept it because it’s all we know. Seriously think about all the places you shop. Are they nice to you only when they are taking your money? How about when there is an issue? Or a return? Will they keep the store open for you if you are running late? Will they make something special or order something unique, just for you? Will they remember your name and face? My favorite take away from the book is “B.R.A.I.N.S – Bring Random Amazement Into Normal Situations”. The hot-tub cover fiasco has been reminding me on a daily basis, that customers matter. And matter a lot! I feel beyond frustrated with a) not having the cover, but more importantly, b) not having someone take responsibility and say they will do what it takes to fix the problem.
I love what I do and so does my staff.
We always let that show. We as small business owners—and it should be any owner or business—would have no business whatsoever without our customers, so it should be our ultimate goal to go out of our way to serve their needs. Doesn’t that make sense? That is why I never feel in competition with the “big boys” either. So why not always go the extra mile? It really is the recipe for creating wonderful customer loyalty and building wonderful relationships with the people that matter to your business. It is what will make them want to return time and again.
So why don’t most businesses recognize this?
Frankly, I’m not sure, but I can tell you that learning how NOT to treat a customer is equally as important to a thriving business as knowing HOW to treat them.