All companies will tell you that customer service is one of their top priorities. But what does great customer service look like in your organization? If employees don’t know, they are each left to their own interpretation. That leads to an uneven experience for customers.
A good way to address this situation is to provide real life examples by sharing success stories. At The Ken Blanchard Companies, we call these behavioural examples. An example provides a concrete picture of the desired behaviour.
Let me share my recent experience of great customer service I received. Consider how many details this example provides for employees at this company who might be wondering what legendary service looks like.
My customer service story
I purchased a skincare product from a well known luxury brand and the product reacted badly with my skin. I purchased the product four months ago from an airport store and had no receipt.
I emailed the luxury brand, explained the situation, and asked for a refund or exchange. I received a reply within an hour. The representative not only explained how the products were made and what ingredients were used, they also acknowledged that the formula may not suit some customers and offered an apology. They sent me a stamped, self-addressed envelope so that I could send the product back to them and offered me an alternate product of similar value free of charge.
What are some of the details about customer service that this story illustrates?
- How to acknowledge: Instead of making excuses, they conceded their product doesn’t suit all skin types. They also acknowledged and appreciated my feedback.
- How to respond: Within an hour, I had a reply. They immediately sent a stamped self-addressed envelope for the return.
- Rules of empowerment: Purchased over four months ago? No receipt? No problem. My customer service rep was able to offer a solution to my dilemma. Then she went beyond my expectations and sent an alternative product of similar value, free of charge.
Stories bring strategies to life
Stories of real life customer service experiences are a great way to articulate what customer service means for your company. So much can be said with a simple story.
Think about what customer service means to you. Consider how you could use stories to fill in the gaps and provide behavioural examples for your people. It’s a positive way to define what good service looks like in your organization—and celebrate it.
And me? Due to my positive customer service experience, I am 100 percent sure I will purchase another product from this luxury brand and will tell this story to my friends and family. Why? Because I have confidence that I can trust the company and the brand in the future.