I’m a salesperson’s nightmare. I hate overly-forward, overly-friendly salespeople. I despise being interrupted when shopping, I can’t stand a sales woman in a clothing store shadowing me or suggesting outfits for me based on an assumption she made when I walked in the door.
Needless to say, that when it comes to customer service, I’m a little (okay a lot) jaded as more often than not I am disappointed by companies with a lack of service, poor service, or poorly trained staff delivering a service.
But every once in a while there are companies who stand out from the sea of checkbox-ticking and clock-punching — companies who go the extra mile to show you they care and invest in their relationships with clients and customers.
These companies get it. They understand what it means to deliver great customer service. They understand that they can cultivate loyalty and create raving fans with small gestures that make big differences.
One of my top five values is loyalty. I not only highly value loyalty in those around me, but I am a fiercely loyal consumer. I stay with the companies and brands I love for years. The trick is first making me fall in love with the company or brand.
Three companies have captured my love and loyalty with outstanding customer service over the past year that I want to give thanks to. These companies go above and beyond the average everyday expectations of service and truly make a point to make business more personal and meaningful.
At WordCamp La 2014, I listed to a presentation by Greg Douglas where he mentioned this neat website mapping tool he uses to create visual sitemaps, wireframes, and more for clients — and that he bought the kit on Creative Market.
I had been looking for a similar tool and didn’t want to recreate the wheel, so after the event, I searched for and found the product on Creative Market. I then looked to see if the creator had a website where I could purchase the product direct (so a third party didn’t take a cut of their profits).
It was then that I discovered UX Kits by Eric Miller. I was intrigued by his product and love supporting niche products, especially products for designers, so I bought everything he had available in his store — the Adobe Illustrator templates, the card deck, and a t-shirt for Brian.
A couple days later I answered the phone and to my surprise I was speaking to Eric Miller. He called to say thank you for buying his products and to “touch base.” He went the extra mile and made an effort to personally connect with me, a customer, to say thank you and learn more about my business.
Needless to say, I’m now a big fan and recommend his tools to other designers often.
It only took almost 10 years to order t-shirts for Bourn Creative. Based on recommendations from friends and my need for only a small quantity, I decided to order custom shirts from CustomInk.
But there was a problem. I like soft lightweight t-shirts and Brian likes thick, heavy t-shirts. So I placed two separate orders. One with the shirts I wanted and one with the shirts Brian wanted — and because I split our total order into two smaller ones, I didn’t get the same quantity discount. Bummer.
Within an hour of my purchase, a customer representative from CustomInk called our office and asked about the two separate orders. He listened to my story, was super friendly, and told me that even with different shirt choices, I could still combine them into one order and get the quantity discount.
He then immediately offered to combine the orders for me and refund $140.00 back to my credit card. Yes. They offered to give me back $140.00 without me asking, even though it was my ordering mistake.
Needless to say, we were thrilled and will be definitely ordering from them again.
Brian originally connected with a member of the WP Engine team at a WordCamp back in 2011 when they were still giving away free accounts at WordCamps. While we opted to skip the free account (it required a mention in the footer), we did move this site over to WP Engine and we have been happy customers.
I could rave all day about how much we love WP Engine, how much we love their t-shirts, and how special we feel when a box full of swag arrives unexpectedly at our house. I could rave about their staff and their team and how much we like everyone we have met.
But that’s just part of the story. Don’t get me wrong. Everything isn’t always unicorns and roses. We have had a couple serious site and support hiccups that we would have rather not had to deal with.
Remember is that no company is perfect. Businesses are human. They rely on humans and humans sometimes make mistakes. But as I mentioned, loyalty is important to me, so I’m not one to jump ship because of one or two mistakes.
What’s important to note here is that when a mistake did happen, WP Engine immediately took ownership of it. They listened to us and took it seriously. They communicated with us, showed us they cared, and got it solved quickly — and they do the same for each of our clients.
Not many other hosting companies treat their customers the same way.
It’s easy to provide great support when everything is going great, but when the sh!+ hits the fan is when you really get to see what a company and it’s people are made of — and WP Engine walks their talk.
We’re raving fans, we host this site with WP Engine, we recommend them to our clients — and we’re proud affiliates — even though we’d recommend them anyway.
How’s Your Service?
How does your customer service stand up? Do you actively show your clients and customers you care about them and value their business? Do you talk about customer service, but fall a little short when it comes to delivering service?
- Have you ever called a customer to say thank you for making a purchase like Eric Miller did?
- Have you ever noticed a way to save a customer money after a purchase and offered to make that happen for them without waiting for them to ask like Custom Ink did?
- When a mistake does happen, do you immediately own it and fix it with great communication like WP Engine does?
There is no time better than now to take a closer look at your customer service systems and identify opportunities to create loyalty, raving fans, and success stories.