A few Fridays ago, a friend and I made plans to meet at a local restaurant for a few games of pool after work. I knew this place sometimes closed the pool table rooms for private events, so I called ahead to make sure the tables would be available that night.
Me: “Hi. I just want to make sure there’s no private event tonight and the pool tables will be open.”
Employee: “They’re open now.”
(It’s 12:30 on a Friday afternoon.)
Me : “Hmm. Well, I’m at work now. I’m calling to see if they’ll be available tonight.”
Employee: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Could you maybe [hate to inconvenience her] . . . find out?”
Everyone has a frustrating customer service story where you’re left wondering if the company is purposely trying to drive away business. Conversely, customer service that goes beyond expectations can turn around a bad experience.
For example, my teenage son loves going to a certain restaurant even though the kitchen almost always messes up our order, and we have to wait a really long time to get our food. But, without fail, the manager comes to our table, apologizes profusely and gives us a free appetizer or dessert. The last time we ate there, the kitchen once again had to remake my order. But, this time, the manager insisted on comping not just that one dish, but our entire bill. This restaurant obviously has a systemic problem in its kitchen, but their outstanding customer service is what stays foremost in my mind.
As part of Zarca’s marketing team, I often speak to clients about their experiences using our online survey software. Yes, they love our advanced features and flexible pricing and real-time reporting. But what I hear over and over is how impressed our clients are with our customer service.
Whether they are signing a contract with our sales team, training on the platform with our account managers or troubleshooting with our technical support staff, here’s what our clients are saying:
“Always quick to respond.”
We could have the most innovative, cutting-edge online survey platform in the world (and — admittedly biased — I believe we do), but apathetic, discourteous customer service could instantly trump all the hard work of our design team.
So remember to put as much energy into the client-facing side of your business as you put into your product or service. One positive or negative experience may be all it takes to win or lose a valuable customer.