Tom Fishburne shares an experience he recently had with an angry customer and what it took to make things right—a little human touch. He also notes a discussion he had with the head of Dyptique who said that "some of his best consumers were those who had a bad product experience, but then were overwhelmed by amazing customer service."
This is not an isolated experience. Angry customers who receive great service to fix their problem often become dedicated consumers. Why?
First, customers don't expect to companies to make things right. Billing problems, long hold times, lost information, forgotten call-backs, attention before the sale and neglect afterward. They all add up to very low expectations. Problems are seldom fixed. And when they are, it often requires so much effort on the part of the customer that the experience is still negative.
So when a company (or an attentive employee) fixes things, it is unexpected. And when the employee provides amazing service, it is so out of the ordinary that it makes a significant impact; in many cases, it makes a brand impression with lasting consequences.
Just as importantly, customers who go through these kinds of experiences now have a (brand) story to tell. (Thanks to the power of Word of Mouth, these micro stories can have a greater effect on the brand than the macro-stories companies tell in the advertising.) And if the brand is lucky, the newly happy customer will tell their story over and over. There are lots of examples of this. One of mine features RayBan sunglasses.
Risky Business and Tom Cruise made RayBan Wayfarers the "must-have" accessory back in the middle 80s. I had a pair that broke. This wasn't a case of losing a screw. I sat on them and they broke—in half—at the nose. The Sunglass Hut wouldn't take them back, so I sent them directly to RayBan with a note that simply said: "These broke. Please fix." I had no expectations of ever hearing from the company and started looking for some new glasses. Two weeks later I received a new pair of RayBans in the mail. I was thrilled. And 22 years later I'm a huge fan of RayBan and still telling the story.
Guess which brand of sunglasses I look for first when a need a new pair?
Have you had a great customer experience that you share over and over? Leave it in the comments.