Exceptional service is rare today. In fact, it's so
rare that when one experiences it, the event often leads to good "buzz". Word of mouth is powerful. Unfortunately, BAD word of mouth is usually faster than good word of mouth.
A couple of weeks ago, I experienced an "AHHH" moment at Whole Foods. Amazon recently bought the chain, and many customers wondered if this would result in better or worse service.
My husband is a creature of habit. For lunch each day, he consumes salmon bits that have been marinated in several different sauces, cheese and crackers. Disregarding the lack of green veggies, it makes my life easier as I'm the one who purchases them from Whole Foods (the only place in town where they are made) and stocks his refrigerator for my out-of-town jaunts. No frozen casseroles for him!
Salmon bits are all I buy at the fish counter and usually cost $24.99 a pound. I picked up a pound a couple of weeks ago and discovered they were $29.99 a pound. I didn't notice the difference until I was paying. I thought, "Oh well, they've gone up again."
Later that day, my husband noticed that the tag on the package said, "scallops". They had inadvertently hit a wrong product code and charged me for the wrong item.
The next time I was in the store, I took the tag back. Here's the good part: instead of crediting me the $5.00 over- charge, they credited the entire $29.99! All I expected was the $5.00. No, their policy is to refund the entire amount if they ring up the wrong amount. I considered this exceptional service. It made a fan out of me!
The event got me thinking: How do we create "exceptional service" for our clients? I'm not necessarily advocating crediting an entire invoice if we air or print an incorrect commercial or run one out of time segment, but how do we rectify the mistake to create an atmosphere of "going the extra mile" with our clients? What do we do to create "Buzz" about our service? Our customers have many options in advertising today. Why will they choose to invest money with us? They want results, yes. But they also want to feel important.
My challenge to you: review your policies. Do they create positive experiences for your customers? Do we treat customers the way we would want our grandmothers treated? The way we respond to customer needs and expectations will determine if we keep them or if they find other marketing avenues to use. If a giant company like Amazon can do it, so can we.
Happy Selling and Servicing!