Customer service has never mattered more...
We're entering an age when customer service isn't simply a tool to quell the upset customer enough that they'll leave us alone to make a new sale to someone else, and instead is becoming an instrument of connection to build relationships and strengthen bonds with our product, service or mission's True Believers. An example of this is something which happened to me over the weekend when I reached out to the ready-made meals company Purple Carrot, in order to complain that my order for the second week in July hadn't arrived.
When I sent my message to the Purple Carrot help desk I expected I wouldn't hear back at all, or at best I'd simply get a lukewarm response in a few days confirming what I already knew; namely, that the order had been "discarded" which is the note I found in the postal service tracking info. Instead, I was greeted quite promptly by Sandra, who apologized on behalf of the company for my inconvenience, and even cited how badly she felt that my meal plans for the week had been disrupted, and providing details about my full refund which she'd already processed. I was a little stunned at how my needs were being addressed in such an unexpectedly professional and personal manner, as I'd anticipated that such a young company as Purple Carrot likely did not yet have their customer service game in full play, and I was expecting to be disappointed. Boy, was I ever NOT disappointed. My interaction with Sandra made me a True Believer in the Purple Carrot mission, and likely secured my business with them for a long time to come.
A day later I received a follow-up survey which I completed and used to explaine how satisfied I was with Purple Carrot's customer service, and especially the very personal help I received from Sandra. I was given a chance to rate the experience and even a chance to suggest a nice reward for Sandra in the form of a coffee, lunch or a gift card. I choose the lunch... Sandra really earned it! And I learned that making sure the True Believers of your story are happy is the best possible investment in advertising, marketing and branding we can easily afford to make.
Good job, Purple Carrot! Now, what's for dinner this week?
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.