Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Customer Service

 Peter Illman
SK Henderson

Customer Service …
A subject of great debate – good customer service, bad customer service, exceptional customer service! What is Customer Service? We have all experienced good, bad, and exceptional customer service! Bad customer service usually means you will not return unless you have no choice. Great customer service means you return and continue to support this organisation.
Just today I listened to a talk back debate around the generally poor level of retail customer service in New Zealand. In these difficult times why is this so prevalent?
Great Customer Service is about ‘going the extra mile’ for your customers – what does this mean?
A recent example of great customer service that I experienced was when my bathroom tap came loose – the custom clamp that holds the water hoses together and clamps the tap to the basin had broken – the first 2 plumbing merchants I visited did not stock this brand, and were not interested. Why should they be interested? I would probably never return, and never need taps again in my life? The third merchant did not stock the brand either – in fact nobody stocked the brand! But the Customer Service Consultant was determined to help – he found a similar clamp in his spares drawer, and then to make it work sold me a $5 packet of washers. “It may not work, but its worth a try” Well it did work, even though it was mission impossible to get ones hands up under and behind the basin! Of course, next time I want plumbing / bathroom products I will immediately know where to go!
Why? Because they solved my problem and were willing and happy to spend some time to do it!

And to illustrate that great Customer Service does exist I have one more example;
Recently I needed a puncture repaired. Yes, I got pulled in by a clever advertisement offering to do this for free. I thought, maybe a gimmick but worth a try? I arrived on a Saturday 15 minutes before closing time – within minutes my tyre was repaired……but even though they were getting ready to close, all my tyres were checked and inflated to the correct pressure, along with advice re tyre wear, my windscreens were cleaned and my tyres all painted! I will of course return to purchase tyres when I need them, not because the puncture repair was no charge, but because of the great customer service and easy environment they provided!
(not to mention the trouble I went through last time I needed some tyres!)

It goes without saying that businesses who are genuinely interested in providing great Customer Service are the ones we all wish to deal with! 

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