How Much is Great Customer Service Worth?
In a RetailWire poll last month, 43 percent gave the retailers they interact with a grade of D or F for demonstrating loyalty to them (i.e., exceptional customer service). In other words, doing something that might not benefit the business in the short term, but would over the longer haul.
It was with this as a backdrop that I was happy to read a MoneyWatch article (I highly recommend you read the original) about a young boy traveling across country and what happened to him in a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Long story short: young kid finds himself in the airport with no money and several hours to kill. His father offers to give his credit card information over the phone to several restaurants to pay for his kid’s meal. All the restaurants say that they are not set up to do that and decline the young boy service except for one.
The one, Wolfgang Puck Express, said they would feed the boy for free. The man said he insisted that there must be some way he could pay for his son’s meal. The response the woman on the phone gave him was, "Just do something nice for someone else."
The boy reported that he was waited on by women who acted "like doting moms." They made sure that, even after his meal was done, he went off with a bottle of water.
The people at the Wolfgang Puck Express might have figured the man would share his story with friends or perhaps even go on Facebook to praise their actions. They had no way to know that he would also tell the company’s corporate headquarters or write a story on a major website. And yet, they did what they did anyway. Pass it on.
- A Slice of Absolute Customer Service Perfection – MoneyWatch/CBS News
- Why Don’t More Retailers Understand Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street? – RetailWire
Why don’t more retailers, large or small, do the types of things that transform people from ordinary customers to lifelong fans and brand evangelists? Do you have a great customer service story to share?