Every customer service post says: “treat the customer the way you want to be treated.”
Have you read the newspaper lately or watched the news? Maybe I watch too much TV but there are lots of nuts out there. Remember the last time you got bad customer service? Is it possible that the server was treating you the way he wanted to be treated? I doubt it. He probably wasn’t paying attention which is even worse than poor service. Remember 96% of customers who leave a business leave because of indifference.
Don’t we treat people the way we want to be treated? We’re nice to some and not so nice to others. It’s a fact of life, not a great fact but it’s what people do. Some people don’t have very high standards.
Treating customers they way they want to be treated is what great customer service is all about. Call it the Nordstom way, call it “going out of your way” but it’s giving the customer more than they ever thought they could get. Nordstom’s first rule, hire nice people. Their theory, “we can teach people to sell but we can’t teach them to be nice.” It sure is hard to teach people to be nice.
I was in my friend’s shoe store the other day when a sad looking woman came in and asked if my friend was throwing out any shoes; she didn’t care about the size she had lost everything in a fire. It was hard to understand her, you could tell she wasn’t from the United States.
My friend took the woman and her two children by the hand and without hesitation found each several pairs of shoes. The woman said she had no money but could cook for my friend and bring her a special dish from her country in a couple of weeks. I watched as the woman left with shoes and my friend with no money. I said to her “you just gave away a day’s profit”, to which she replied, “what does it matter, winter is coming and they need shoes.”
A few weeks later the grateful woman delivered a wonderful meal to my friend’s house and now they’re good friends. In my mind, this is the best of customer service. Of course we can’t always afford to do this but there are times when it’s the right thing to do. My friend has struggled with her business; the profit she makes goes into inventory. I don’t know how often she has paid herself but when you meet her you know she’s a special human being. She’s just nice and never forgets what you like and your shoe size.
Last year for my birthday she sent me the most wonderful pair of boots that I knew she couldn’t afford. I tried to give them back but she said Mama Lisbeth, you’ve given me inspiration to go on and I know I can make it. By the way as I write this my friend Celestine from Shoe Fetish continues to do shoe parties across the country. Check her out on Facebook.
To me this is the ultimate in treating customers the way they want to be treated; I felt inspired. I know a business can’t survive this way, but it’s nice to make someone else feel good. There’s also something to be said for Pay It Forward; if you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you rent it.
As Celestine juggles school, family and her shoe store she finds time to meet people; it looks like the right people. She was on the Wendy Williams Show last week. I can’t wait to see the show, you go girl!