What great customer service really looks like
A true story about incredible customer service
Mid career my father had founded and launched a models and hobbies business. One day in the run up to Christmas he was serving a lady who was buying a motorised model aeroplane for her son. My dad spent 30 minutes making sure the lady understood everything and had all she needed. Soon after she left the shop my dad noticed with horror that he had left the instructions out of the box when he packed it all up. He knew that either the boy would be unable to use it on Christmas day, or that he would try and use it and likely break it as he had no instructions. He was very worried. He really cared about his customers.
By the next morning my dad had decided what to do. He took a front page ad in the local evening newspaper and implored the lady in question to contact the shop so the error could be fixed. That ad cost a lot of money!
Two things happened. Firstly, the lady saw the ad, came into the shop and was so, so grateful for what my father had done. Secondly, the editor of the newspaper, curious about the ad, called up my father and asked him about it. He too was amazed by my father's concern for the customer and offered to run an article in the paper on the business and its fantastic approach to customer service! The article subsequently ran to two pages and really helped to put the business on the map. So many people referred to it when they visited the shop.
This small business went on to grow strongly, support three director's families, three company cars and several other staff. My father had made clear his attitude to integrity, customers and 'they way we do things around here'- not with any fancy statements hung in a frame on the wall; but with his actions. If you worked for him, you very soon knew what mattered. And guess what? His staff followed. And if they didn't follow, they didn't stay.