Delivering exceptional customer service is a way of life. It is how world class organizations drive every employee to consistently look for ways to offer amazing service. It is a part of their culture that is communicated, measured, and rewarded.
Interestingly, exceptional customer service doesn’t have to be something big and outrageous, it can be small things that are not expected by the customer and cause them to say “Wow, I didn’t expect that.” It can also be taking the extra step.
For example, last week my sprinkler system was not working. The lawn was turning brown and there was no rain in the forecast. I called a sprinkler repair company and they said they would send a technician in three days. On the designated third day, the technician arrived. His diagnosis was that the pump was not primed because the water in the lake was so low, but that he had filled it with water and it was working again. He requested immediate payment. I received a survey that afternoon asking how I felt about the technician and the service he delivered. He had been nice, seemed professional, so I gave a good evaluation.
However, two days later, the sprinkler system was not working again. I called the company back and they suggested I buy a new pump from them for $1,000.00. I decided to get a second opinion. I called another sprinkler repair business. They said they were very busy, but would get to me as soon as they could. That afternoon, the owner of the company was walking around my back yard looking at the system. He called me on my mobile and said he knew what the problem was and would tell his crew so they could come out and do the repair as soon as possible. The next day, a crew member called me while looking at the system and shared his solution: move the primer for the pump out a couple feet into the lake so more water could come into the pump. He also said they were barnacles accumulating inside the pump that could be blocking the system and he would clean them out.
The owner of the company called me two days later and asked if the system was working to my satisfaction. I said “Yes.” He thanked me for my business and asked what would be the most convenient way for me to pay for the services, by mail or phone.
Who do you think I will call the next time I need my sprinklers repaired? Who do you think I will refer to my neighbors?
Exceptional service is going beyond “fixing” the problem to taking “corrective action” and resolving the customer’s problem. It is exceeding expectations. The second company responded quicker than I expected and completed the work quicker than expected. The owner looked for ways to make it easy for me to do business with him; such as the payment format. As a leader of the company, he was visible and accessible to the customer and his crew.
A culture of exceptional service starts at the top and permeates the entire organization. It is looking through the lens of the customer throughout the entire customer experience. Customer loyalty is the result of the attention and focus.