One of the running jokes that my cousins have about me is my letter writing. I have been known to write a letter or two when I feel a business has done wrong. My feeling is that when I am paying for a good or service, I expect it to meet my standard. (It should be noted that how much I have to pay depends on how upset I get. Getting a sub-par $3 Happy Meal doesn’t warrant a complaint; getting a sub-par $30 entree most definitely will.)
What is often overlooked (because it’s not as funny) is how often I write complimentary letters. I recently wrote one to DSW, the shoe warehouse. I had purchased a pair of shoes and needed to return them. I paid cash for them and didn’t have my receipt. I figured that even though I didn’t have my receipt, I had given the cashier my rewards number, so they would be able look up my purchase and issue a refund. The store was 25 minutes from my house and since it’s not on the way to anything else (i.e. work, church, friends), I had to make a special trip to return them. Which I did … only to find out they couldn’t issue me a refund because the cashier couldn’t look up my account. Had it not been for the pleasant manner of the store manager Chris and his willingness to help, this incident could have been bad for everyone in the near vicinity. Chris let me know that it was, in fact, possible to do; however I would have to wait until Monday when he could call customer service to get a copy of the receipt. His pleasant manner made me not care about having to make another special trip – which was made that Monday, when Chris had called to follow up and let me know he had a copy of the receipt. And when I showed up? Chris was at the register with the receipt copy before the associate had the chance to page him. That’s definitely the type of service you rarely see in retail.
I’m curious to see how DSW will handle the e-mail I sent. We know that a company will often try to right a wrong with a coupon or apology. I wonder how they will right a right – not that I am expecting anything; I sent the e-mail because I wanted them to know what a great employee they had and how he managed to avoid an unpleasant experience and upset customer. I wish that more customer service employees were like him.
No matter the industry you are in, customer service should be a top a priority. Chris took a little bit of time from his day to make mine much better. Are you doing the same for your customers?
*A portion of this blog published originally on: Nadia’s Notes
Nadia Zerka serves as account executive for Imagine Marketing.
Contact Nadia at email@example.com