Customer Service – When It’s Done Right


© Ivelin Radkov

Now and then there’s a company that comes along that gives such amazing service they deserve to be talked about. Here’s the short scenario that happened yesterday with Bed Bath & Beyond along with six points to help you bring your customer service to their level.

Sheila put a relatively new bedspread into the dryer with a Woolite dry cleaning sheet. She’s done it a hundred times, and the pattern ran. I went on line found the same bedspread and ordered it for pick up at the store. We packaged up the damaged spread, pillows, etc. and took it back. I didn’t have my receipt, but they were able to find it with my credit card number. I explained the problem and within five minutes left with the replacement. That was it – no hassle, no questions. I even asked if she wanted to see where the pattern was messed up. She smiled and simply said, “That’s not necessary. Thanks for being a loyal customer.”

Providing good Customer Service is one of your greatest elements in building a strong brand. Here are some of the keys to Bed Bath & Beyond’s approach every business owner needs to incorporate into your customer relationships.

  • Listen to your customers. I had called the store where I was picking up my online order because it didn’t look like it went through. The woman I spoke with listened as I took her through the whole scenario. She then put me on hold for just a minute or so. When she didn’t have my order, she went and found the product.
  • Provide extra help where possible. The store I needed to go to wasn’t where we bought the original and I needed directions. She gave me a great way to go.  Tony Corbell tells a story about asking for directions to the Electric Light Parade at Disney World. The Disney staff member not only gave him the time but added a great suggestion on where to get the best view. Always go that extra step.
  • Handle problems quickly. It was less than 24 hours from the time we identified the problem to the time I picked up the new bedspread.
  • Have easy to understand solutions. You’ll never be able to please everybody, but do your best to have solutions that match as close as possible to the client’s request. Do your best to accommodate and resolve their issues.
  • Just be pleasant. We all go into retailers expecting a fight. The clerk at the store could not have been nicer. No hassle, just an employee standing behind their products.  
  • Know your database. Within seconds, the clerk at the store found all the information she needed from the original purchase. I didn’t have a receipt, but she understood the system and required no help in finding my transaction from three months ago. I couldn’t have been out of the store faster or been happier with the outcome.

There they are – six points to help you raise the bar on your service. I know a client who’s unhappy with their images isn’t the same as a customer with a consumer item at retail. However, the basics of great service involve listening, resolving problems quickly and being pleasant about it.

Now, somebody tell me how to get every Comcast rep and their senior managers/executives to intern at Bed Bath & Beyond before they’re allowed to talk with customers!


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