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Let’s say that your organisation wants to retain customers, wants to increase the lifetime value of the customer and wants customers to advocate the organisation on social media.
So what would you recommend your organisation do when a customer complains about something that was beyond its direct control – such as a third party supplier letting your organisation down?
- Point blank refuse to accept any responsibility
- Debate the ins and outs with the customer and finally offer a token in recompense
- Immediately offer a full refund
- Immediately offer a full refund and send a box of chocolates to the customer
Obvious you say……so why don’t more organisations go down route 4, or even route 3?
For two inspirational models of customer service, look at the way things are done at Zappos and the iconic customer experience at Ritz-Carlton. There are some common themes in these organisations that give food for thought in creating your own customer experience:
– front line staff are given the autonomy to act and spend money on customer service, creating memorable experiences; for example
- Zappos staff can send a box of cookies or flowers to a customer without approval
- Ritz Carlton stories abound with staff going the extra mile, such as not just returning the stuffed animal to the little boy who had left him in their restaurant one evening, but used the community camera to create a picture story book of ‘animal adventures’!
– daily ‘huddles’ to discuss customer service stories
- Zappos call them Zuddles!
– colleagues are treated in the way they are asked to treat their customers
- the Ritz Carlton credo is ‘We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen’
- at Zappos, 50% of interviews and performance reviews are based on values and culture fit
To find out more about the inspirational customer service offered by these two organisations there are links below.
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