Customer Service: Stories from the good and the bad
Good customer service, as common sense will tell us, is an essential part of any business. Developing and maintaining a trusted relationship with your clients and customers is crucial when it comes to building a reputable company that people want to return to time and again. An important part of this is now your business handles complaints. No company is exempt from receiving the odd complaint and mistakes do happen, but it’s how they are handled that really makes the difference. Moreover, part of good customer service involves going the extra mile to make your clients happy. Here are two examples: one good, one… not so good.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Now, with a name and reputation reputation like the Ritz-Carlton you would expect a high level of customer service, but this heart-warming story demonstrates their willingness to go that little bit further to please the customer. Chris Hurn and his family stayed at a Ritz-Carlton hotel, but when his son realised on his return home that he had left his beloved stuffed giraffe behind you can only imagine the distress. Mr Hurn contacted the hotel, and they promised the safe return of Joshie the Giraffe. Good customer service turned into fantastic customer service when some of the hotel staff decided that they would include photos of the giraffe which would assure the little boy that Joshie was having a wonderful time in his absence. These photos included Joshie by the pool, at the spa, and with his own staff card. This really is a fantastic example of a company doing a little extra to put a smile on the faces of their clients – and this story certainly put a smile on my face too.
Now for the ugly side of customer service. A man in America, hoping to pay off a loan on his car, went to Chase Bank to cash a tax rebate cheque for almost $8.5. After one look at the man and few minutes of interrogation, the woman behind the desk was convinced that the cheque and proceeded to call the police. Mr Njoku was imprisoned for five days before he was fully investigated, by which time his car had been towed and auctioned off, and he had also lost his job for being jailed and missing work. What worsened the situation was that not one person from Chase Bank apologised to Mr Njoku. Eventually, after legal involvement, the bank wrote a short apology to him a year later. Mistakes happen, and poor judgements are make by everyone every now and again, but the complete disregard that Chase Bank showed towards their customer and their unwillingness to apologise is, in my eyes, an unforgivable bit of horrendous customer service.
I’ll admit, these are two examples from the polar extremes of customer service, but the moral of the story remains the same whatever the situation and whatever the company. Going the extra mile can make all the difference, and the Ritz-Carlton can now benefit from an added boost to their popularity as a result of a few members of staff taking the time to make a little boy happy. On the flip side, our bad example demonstrates a whole host of customer service no-nos. Making an unsubstantiated judgement about a customer can lead to an array of issues, as we’ve seen. Moreover, it took the bank five days to investigate Mr Njoku whilst he was quietly losing his car and his job in prison. If we could learn two things from this story they would be to deal with issues as quickly as possible, and to apologise profusely for such negligence. Everyone will receive a complaint at one point or another, but a sincere apology and maybe some compensation could save your customer service story from being spread all over the internet for all the wrong reasons.