When was the last time that you experienced exceptional customer service?
And by the way, when was the last time that you or your people provided such service?
The people at the Apple store at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto have been gifting me with this type of service over the past few weeks.
It all began with me sentencing my PC to its early death by spilling water right onto it. And so I decided to make the leap into the Mac system.
Which led me to the aforementioned Apple Store, where I became a “business customer”.
At this crowded, bursting-at-the-seams store where the temperature can sometimes be piping hot, I experienced excellence at absolutely every touch point. And a palpable commitment to resolving anything that could stand in the way of me using the product to its full potential, regardless of how much time, effort or people-power it took. I benefitted from total collaboration and seamless flow across functions between the many professionals who have served me. All supplemented by superb expertise on all matters, never-ending patience, intimate familiarity with my (numerous) challenges and an enthusiastic approach to receiving my novice’s feedback on the ways in which the software could be improved.
So why, you may be asking, am I telling you all this?
Because the loyalty and gratitude I’ve been feeling is yet another demonstration why customer service really does matter. And my Apple Store experience demonstrates that the following are crucial ingredients for success:
1. Values. To provide this level of excellence in customer service, each and every employee needs to be clear on the organization’s values and what the company really stands for.
2. Latitude. When staff are free to use their judgement and make individual decisions that benefit the customer, good things start happening.
3. A great product or service. Without this, success is short lived.
4. Civility. Staff can work in such seamless collaboration only when civility is embedded into the work unit’s culture. But when incivility replaces civility, micro-aggression acts begin to permeate the culture, leading to inevitable disruption to teamwork and service.
So when it comes to providing exceptional customer service, what is the secret to YOUR success (or lack thereof)?
P.S. A special thank you to the Apple store’s competent-beyond-belief (and fun!) June, and to the ever-supportive, ever-present Doug.
We’re here to help, anytime.