Think of it as the one small step for man, one giant step for mankind quote, but rather than walking on the moon, we are talking about customer service going well beyond the norm.
I recently had an interaction with a business that left me so impressed; I had to blog about it. I was moving into a new house we are building and we had a light fixture that hangs down over the dining room table. The problem: the table hasn’t been delivered yet so the fixture is hanging there in the open where you can bump into it. Like a dunce, I smacked my head into it and cracked one of the glass globes.
After I got done beating myself up for being so stupid, I emailed the company I bought the fixture from. They told me they had it in stock and come on down.
I explained that their product wasn’t faulty and I smacked into it with my big head. When I pulled out my credit card to pay, the gentleman Chris told me no charge, have a nice Christmas.
I was so impressed by this, that I told everyone I know and I will refer and recommend them to anyone looking for lighting products. That seemingly small deed will reap big rewards.
Now I had given this company a lot of business as they furnished all the lighting in my new home. But still, business is business and they had every right to charge me for the new glass. I expected them to charge me. But, instead they did a nice thing.
Bottom line: When you go out of your way to provide excellent customer service it leaves people with a positive impression of your company. When you respond quickly and get things done for people, they appreciate it, as so many times in today’s world people wait weeks for assistance even for small tasks. In my business, this describes our view of website management. We developed a best in class support service model and answer inquiries the same day. This is unheard of in my business and people are so surprised when we email them back that their request has been completed. Again, small deeds reap big rewards, for us this is proven out by all the referrals we receive from satisfied clients.
In case you are wondering, the store in question is The Lighting Gallery of Taunton, 82 Weir St, Taunton, MA 02780. Website: http://www.bristollights.com/
One of my proudest metrics is our client retention rate. Since I have been in business dating back to the mid 90s, I have retained 98% of my clients year to year. Typically, if the client leaves it is because they are going out of business, have a family member who wants to try their hand at web development and design, or have received a deal too to be true elsewhere. We all see these free websites, and packages that sound too good to be true. In the long-run companies grow to resent these companies, as their service is slow or is non-existent. (Funny, people go for bait and switch and deals that sound too good to be true and are disappointed when these fly by night companies don’t deliver quality service or products…)
I believe that you support a client until the last second of the last day they are paying you.
This was evident on New Year’s Eve. (Yes, we work on New Year’s Eve) A client I had for about 15 years or more decided to go with a new company to build a new e-commerce site. My estimate (which was tiny) was too high for her. (she forgot that I had grandfathered her in at our late 90s rates, and never raised her fees and charged her next to nothing for hosting and maintaining her site…) But, it of course is her prerogative and we wish her well. But, wait, it gets better……..Late in the day on the 31st, she sent a request to do some things to her website. Now I think I should tell you the new website was supposed to be ready by now and she had given me notice. But of course the developer had excuses and it was not done and probably won’t be done for months. (Red Flag anyone? Bueller Bueller Bueller) So she decided to pay me and continue with my service for a few months longer. Now 99.9% of the people out there would’ve made her wait till after the new year and probably a few days to a few weeks just for spite. But I made these changes after 5 o’clock on New Year’s Eve, because of that is how we do business. We support clients until the last second of the last day they have paid us for service. That is what customer service is all about, that is what RooSites is all about.
In conclusion: Looking back at 2014, it was our best year ever with great new clients coming on board, and 98% coming with us into the new year. We will always strive to keep our clients happy, and want to retain all our customers (well, maybe not all ;-). Now we know this is not a realistic goal, but by offering the best support in the world, we will continue to stay in the high 90s for client retention.
Happy New Year to you all, may 2015 be the best year ever for you, your families and your companies!