The other day I took my car in to the dealer as I was having a problem with one of my tires – a slow leak. I had already had air put in the tire once and the guy at the service station told me I would probably have to get it fixed eventually. It was a service station; they put gas in the car for you, washed the windshield and put air in the tire and thanked you when you paid. Strange concept I know, but I grew up with that, it was normal to me. Or it used to be.
When I finally had to go to the dealer to get the tire fixed, I called first, and they said to just drop in and they would look after it. So I did and they did.
I arrived about 8 AM and they took the car and I sat and had a coffee. About an hour later the service rep came to tell me that my car would be ready in a few minutes, there would be no charge and I could just sign the papers. Nice and easy. I went out to get my car; they had actually pulled it out of the spot for me, took all of the papers out that were on the windshield and on the floor and gave me the keys. I got in and adjusted the seat and realized that they had washed the car – INDSIDE AND OUT! I was amazed! I had a huge smile on my face and I knew I was going to have a great day!
But wait a minute….What did they do that was so special?
They looked after me when I arrived with a flat tire? They gave me a coffee and a place to sit while I waited? They fixed a tire on a car that was only three months old and didn’t charge me? They washed the car inside and out before giving it back to me. Why is any of that special? Isn’t that what it should be like? Isn’t that what customer service is?
Perhaps I am becoming a grumpy old man and starting to say things like:
- There was a time when…..
- They certainly never used to do that…..
- Twenty years ago they would have …..
I don’t think when I was growing up we even called customer service customer service. It was just what was expected when you went to a store or a restaurant or a garage. I know that when I starting working at Eaton’s at 16 we spent a day in training and were given a manual but “please and thank you” were never part of the training, we didn’t have to be taught that or a lot of other things that now seem to be an afterthought if we see at all.
When we first opened Etiket, I have to be honest; my vision was a little different about customer service than it is now. My background is big corporate fashion and there were always handbooks and rules about how to deal with customers, how to greet them, what to say and not to say, and of course what to do for complaints or problems. Everything was done to protect the company and appear to service the customer, but there was so little trust between the two that it seemed to me that more often than not it became a contest to see who would win if there were any issues, and the customer had to be wrong, they couldn’t be right could they?
I remember what changed all of that for me at Etiket. I received a call from a customer who was having problems with our on-line store Etiket.ca. I am a big believer in dealing with issues as face to face as I can and I like to hear what the problems are because at the end of the day, the buck does stop with me.
The first thing I did was listen, all the way to the end of what she had to say. I didn’t always agree with what she said, but that didn’t matter, that was her perspective and that was how she had experienced the situation. I didn’t want her to be right in what she was saying, but she was. I thanked her, corrected the problem to her satisfaction, and we made changes in a few things so it wouldn’t happen again to her or anyone else. She was happy and I was happy and so would the next customer be who bought something on-line.
We would now be even better at looking after our clients!
At Etiket we don’t have a policy about Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back! Why would we need a policy like that? Isn’t that why we are here?
How about the famous: We Try Harder!
First of all, we don’t try, WE DO! If we have to try then right there we are doing something wrong.
I say that if you treat your customers with respect they will treat you with respect.
Customer service is not about rules. Customer service is about caring about what you do and the people that you are catering to, because that is what you do in retail, you cater to people. You are there to service people at whatever level you work at and you better be proud of what you do AND be proud to work for the company you work for and it better show. I know that everyone at Etiket lives all of those things. We aren’t perfect and we make mistakes but we make sure we correct those mistakes, learn from them and move on to be even better at what we do.
Our goal at Etiket is to give you the best in results-oriented anti-aging skin care, the most beautiful niche perfumes that we can find, make-up that will be good for your skin and make you look even more fabulous than you are, aesthetic treatments that will transform you, and above all service that may wow you, but more importantly service that you rightfully expect and deserve.
If you ever have an experience at Etiket that you don’t find up to your satisfaction, then I invite you to contact me so we can not only sort it out, but also make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It’s simple, we want to be THE best at what we do, why would we want to be anything less?