Ever since the start of our business I've been reading tons of marketing and business books. Tons of them. The last few have really made an impact. First, because they were just phenomenal books. Second, because I've started to see a theme through books of this nature - customer service.
In my latest read, QBQ: The Question Behind the Question, there's a great illustration about customer service at a restaurant where the waiter goes out of his way to serve the customer (also the author of the book).
Yesterday, I had my great customer service experience. I'm a pretty loyal customer when I find something I love, like Clinique cosmetics and skin care. I'll shop there until they no longer exist or no longer carry the flagship product I fell in love with - unless they slip in the service department.
So when I went in to refill several products I'm nearly out of I anticipated the same great care and personal attention I've always received. Now let me set the scene...
I was excited because I had a return at this department store which also has a Clinique counter (I'm a huge fan of two birds, one stone). I asked the girl behind the counter if I could make my return with her, to which she directed me to the next department over.
Upon completing my return I went back to Clinique. The girl was there waiting and ready to help me. I gave her my three item list and asked if they were running any specials (they often have give aways). She informed me it had just ended yesterday. I mentioned that was a bummer because I had been in the store yesterday but ran out of time to stop by (all true - it was why I was back returning jeans that didn't quite fit).
While she was getting my products I noticed a huge garbage bag of the free give aways sitting next to the register. When she returned to let me know one was out of stock and another wasn't available in the size I requested, I said, "Okay. I noticed you have a ton of give aways left over - since you don't have all that I came in for - would you let me have one anyway?"
The girl hestitated, but said she'd have to call her manager.
Upon returning with my total and a sad expression, she let me know her manager got angry at her for asking. I couldn't believe it. A great opportunity to make a customer extremely happy, from what could have been a disappointing experience, and the manger passes!
Locking that little experience away in my mind I said with a smile, "Well, thank you for asking. Your manager isn't very good at customer service, huh?"
When she returned with my receipt, the girl slipped one of the give away bags into my shopping bag. I thanked her, told her she deserved a raise and her manager's job - she thanked me with a smile.
This sales girl gets it.
Now I'm off to let corporate know what a fabulous employee they have. :)
Christine Lee Smith
Christine Lee Smith