Last week something shocking happened to me.
It was the worst customer experience ever.
Actually, it all started January 11 when my computer’s battery was not charging.
When I noticed this I rushed to the nearest computer shop in Aarschot.
I mean “rushed” because I wanted to make sure the battery was not completely discharged by the time I got there.
And then the horrible customer experience began.
And it ended last week (2 months later) with the computer shop’s ‘managing director’ Michael calling me a liar.
Shocking, this has never happened to me before.
I was furious, frustrated, sad. To name a few emotions.
And you can be sure, that this story won’t end here.
They are messing with the wrong girl.
Now, I do not like to dwell on the negative.
Let’s try to find something positive in this experience.
So why not sharing some tips on how to make sure you and your company put customers first.
I’ll send these tips to Michael. What did you think? 🙂
You never know, he might learn a thing or two.
- Hire the Right People
To ensure your customers receive a first-class experience you need to staff your entire company with the right people, people who put the customer first. Not only the front office staff, but everywhere in the company.
And if you are a solopreneur, you are the front and back office at the same time. Be sure you are willing and able to put your customers first as well.
Once you have the right people on board, equip them to make your customers a priority through proper training.
In our case, Michael could use some training. And I sincerely wonder whether he should be in front of customers in the first place.
- Tell the Truth
Put your customers first by always telling them the truth – even if the truth doesn’t make your company the biggest profit.
In my case, Michael told me it would take about 2-3 weeks to repair the jack. I thought he was under-promising and would over-deliver afterwards. Admit it, 2-3 weeks to repair a jack. Are you joking?
But boy, was I wrong.
Not only did it take 2 months. What’s even worse, Michael claimed he had told me it would take about 4-6 weeks to repair. That is a lie.
Have you ever experienced that?
Somebody lying to your face and at the same time calling you a liar?
- Inform your Customers
It is important to keep your customers informed during the entire ‘customer journey’. There is nothing more dreadful (except for lying) then keeping your client in the dark. Update your customer. Even if you actually do not have much more to tell than ‘we are working on it’.
In my case, I had to call the Computer Shop in Aarschot every week myself. They only called me once when they needed my password. Not even an update.
- Take Responsibility
Whenever things go wrong on your side (which happens from time to time. We are all humans), take full responsibility.
Do not start blaming everyone but yourself, do not start finding excuses. Be a man (or woman) and take full responsibility.
Michael, our MD, did not take responsibility.
And what’s worse… he started blaming me, the customer.
Told me I lied when I came in and told him the battery was not charging. I should have told him the hard disk was the problem. (excuse me?!). He claimed he told me about the 4-6 weeks. He claimed he offered me a replacement PC for free (NOT!). He blamed the front office guy for helping me out and wasting precious time retrieving my data (which they lost). I can go on and on.
- Compensate your Customer
Have a plan to make arrangements to compensate your customer for damage or losses caused by you or your company.
After two months, I got back my computer. The battery is charging again. Great. However, they have lost important data of the last 3 years. Luckily most of them, but not all, are stored in the cloud, so I could retrieve the data myself. But I was unable to retrieve the emails of the last 3 years.
I was not compensated for the loss and waste of time. Nope, I had to pay 105 €. Huh?!
What’s your worst customer experience? Or let’s be positive: share a valuable tip you learned from that experience.