In today’s economy you would think that companies would be doing everything they can to not only get new customers, but keep the ones they already have. Unfortunately that’s not the case. Some companies are clueless or simply don’t care.
But there are other companies out there that do totally GET customer service and understand how important the customer is. They know that great customer service builds loyalty and keeps a customer.
Here are five companies that totally GET customer service:
You wouldn’t necessarily think Amazon would be up there, what with them being a totally online company. You don’t even see phone numbers or contact information readily available.
But if you buy something then you have some options. Let me tell you what happened with one of my orders. We ordered a small toy for our oldest daughter. The toy’s packaging was one of those with a cardboard backing and a plastic front. The item was from another seller but shipped through Amazon. When we received it, the toy was in a bubble-protection, padded envelope. This would be good for a book or something flat but as you can guess it wasn’t so great for our toy! The plastic front was crushed. It looked like someone sat on it! But the toy was in one piece and nothing was missing. Being close to the holidays I wasn’t going to return it and risk not getting a new one in time.
So I went into the Your Account link on the Amazon home page. I then went to the Orders section. There is a link there labeled “Leave Packaging Feedback.” I wanted to complain about the delivery package even though I was going to keep it. I figured I should at least let them know. Well, you know what I found? An option to have a customer service representative call you back! I put in my phone number and almost immediately I received a call. I told the rep. about the situation and told her if I had more time I would return the toy but with it being the holidays I’d have to keep it. The rep was very nice and after listening to my story, hearing that I was upset, she offered to refund a little better than 50% of the item’s cost for the trouble. I didn’t expect to do anything but register my complaint but here I was getting a partial refund.
Amazon understood how important it is for their customers to trust making orders with them. I can’t begin to count how many items I’ve bought through Amazon (especially after signing up for Amazon Student and Amazon Mom) so knowing they take care of their customers goes a long way in solidifying trust with them. And for them, it really doesn’t cost much in the grand scheme of things. Amazon GETS it!
I’ve been ordering my contacts through 1-800-Contacts for a little over a year now. Every time I call, the people there are completely patient and nice. Every time! And I always do my research first to make sure I’m getting the best price and no shipping costs. Honestly, it’s a pleasure speaking to them. 1-800-Contacts GETS it!
You already know I’m a fan of ING Direct. I have their savings and checking accounts as well as an investing account through Sharebuider. But what really impresses me and keeps me a customer is their customer service. Any time I’ve had a question, a situation, anything… the customer reps there have always been able to get me an answer and are always great! Oh, and I’m never on hold for long either. ING Direct GETS it!
Mmm, I love me some Starbucks coffee! I have the Gold Rewards card. I try to use it every time I go so I can earn “stars” towards free drinks. You also get some other benefits like an upgrade to a free drink rather than just coffee is you buy whole beans at the store.
So one day my wife uses my card and first asks to have the card re-filled with our debit card. She also bought a couple of drinks as well as a pound of coffee and wanted to use the Gold Card for the purchase (that’s why she was re-filling it). Instead of charging the Gold Card they charged the debit card so now I have a debit charge for the drink purchase and a debit charge for the card re-fill. On top of that we didn’t get our free drink with the pound of coffee (we were charged) and we didn’t get the discount we should have on one of the drinks. She didn’t realize all of the details until she got home.
I called the store first. The manager told me he could move the Gold Card charge back to the debit card but couldn’t do anything about the drink. Worse though was that he wasn’t even friendly about it. this ticked me off a bit since Starbucks is usually pretty good with their customers. At this point Starbucks didn’t get it. 🙁
I then called up customer service. I spoke with a nice woman who immediately understood what happened and why I was calling. I told her I love the company and I was calling because the order was screwed up and this was totally out of character for them. Kindly, she offered to bump up my “stars” so I would be closer to a free drink (every purchase is one star and 15 get you a free drink). She also said she was going to mail out some coupons to me. Ok, I was happy with her resolution, and being this was something that doesn’t happen often I was satisfied. Ends up the coupons were actually vouchers for four free drinks! Did I mention I love me some Starbucks? Yes, in the end Starbucks GETS it!
Every time I’ve called American Express thy have been both nice and responsive. I’ve written about the time there was a false charge on my credit card and they quickly resolved it. Well, there was another time I had to call them. Once, when making a payment online, I paid only the minimum rather than the full amount. The radio buttons are real close together. I didn’t realize this until I received my confirmation that the funds had gone through. I made the payment at the last minute so the statement had closed before I could pay the difference. I paid the difference off but I was afraid there would still be an interest charge. Instead of being pro-active like I should have, I waited until the next statement came. Lo and behold, there was an interest charge for the difference that I didn’t pay. I called them up and explained what happened. Without having to argue or feel like I did anything wrong, they told me they would take the charge off the statement. Done. Fixed. American Express GETS it!
It’s too bad more companies don’t understand the importance of great customer service. Maybe it costs too much to train customer service reps, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you, I’m much more willing to forgive a mistake when the company makes good for it. If the company doesn’t seem to care then I move my business elsewhere and I let my friends know about it.
Good customer service builds loyalty!