The process of returning my son’s iPod for warranty replacement has been interesting.
I talk to Costco customer service, now called “concierge service”. That experience was outstanding.
By the way, just calling it concierge service sets the expectation for a good experience, doesn’t it? It also means that you have to deliver.
The Costco guy connects me with Apple service and stays on the phone with me until I’m done, then confirms that I’m happy with the result.
The Apple customer service guy is just as good, and takes care of things quickly. He tells me that he will email me instructions and that I can just take the box to any UPS Store and they will pack and ship it at no charge.
Later, I go into the UPS Store and mention that I have an Apple return. I’m the only one in the store.
Before saying “Hello” or “So….UConn or Butler?”, the UPS store lady hears me say “Apple return” and says “Crrrrraaaaaaaaaap”.
After making a call, she took the box and said it’d be taken care of the next day, but the last impression I have for the moment – which also reflects on Costco and Apple – is….”crappy”.
I tweet something brief about it before leaving the parking lot and head for home. I’m not annoyed about it, mostly because I’ve come to expect stuff like this from retail businesses. I am a little surprised to hear that come from a woman – particularly one that I think is a generation older than me.
By the time I get home and settled at my desk, Lindsay with UPS Store care corporate (or a fairly smart automated bot) is on top of it and sends me a Twitter message asking me to email her with details.
12 minutes later, I get a personal reply saying they’ll take care of it.
I didn’t tweet to get support from UPS. That just happened.
The point is that they were paying attention.
The result of paying attention means that Lindsay’s tweet and the email that followed the detailed reply she requested turned a less-than-positive last impression into a good one.
Never forget that every interaction gives you an opportunity to either reinforce/strengthen your relationship or lose a customer.
Every. Single. One.
Stuff like this is a form of marketing that’s the most expensive you’ll ever invest in: Employees.