Why do some companies just not get it when it comes to customer services? I mean really it isn’t rocket Science. Here is my story.
I’m in the process of building a shed and a play house for my kids and I have an extensive lumber order that needs to be ordered and delivered. Wanting to get a good prices I called two lumber yards to get a quote. Lets call them yard A and yard B.
Here is my experience with Yard A. I call the number on their website and ask for sales. Sales answerer’s and I explain that I need a quote. The person on the other line says how big is the order? Meaning how many items. I say about 14 items. He then asks me if I can fax to him the order. Ok you know I’m a tech person so I say “well I don’t have a fax, can I e-mail it to you”? Who uses faxes today anyways?
He says “umm I think so hang on a sec”. Comes back on the line and then says if I e-mail it they can’t retrieve it right away so a quote would take a few days it would be faster if I could get to a fax. Ok how is this convenient for me? So I tell them I will just e-mail it and wait the two days. End of conversation.
Yard B. I get their number from their website. Call the sales dept and get a very nice man by the name of Jim. Jim says to me “Why did you wait so long to call”. Humor I love that. He then says “how can I help you”. I explain to him I need a quote and ask how should I send him the info. He said “well what works best for you? I say I can e-mail it to you? Jim says “great e-mail it is”. I send him the e-mail. 10 mins after I send the e-mail a confirmation comes back to me saying we got your list and are working on it right now. I had my work phone number on the order e-mail when I sent it. About 1/2 hour later I get a phone call and it is Jim. Jim tells me that the quote is ready but their Internet is down so is there a fax number that he can send it to? I tell him I have a fax at work but I do not know the fax number. Jim is a smart guy and realizes he called my work and got transferred to me so he says, “Mike why don’t I just call your work number back and I’ll ask for the fax number myself, would that work for you”? Absolutely Jim thank you. This guy gets it. I have to believe that in this day and age with our economy where it is even a lumber yard is hungry to get a sizable order?
I get my quote same day and at the bottom of the quote it says thank you Michael Fanning if there are any question you have on this quote don’t hesitate to call us, and they give me a 1 800 number.
Ok back to Yard A. It is now 3 days later. No quote so I call Yard A. I tell them my name and how I sent a order via e-mail. 10 mins on hold only to tell me they can’t find my order. “Oh wait here it is” they say. They didn’t process it because they had a few questions. Why didn’t you call me? I ask. “Oh we didn’t have your number”. You mean my number on the bottom of the order I e-mailed to you. “Oh yeah there is a number there”. So I answer their questions and then they tell me I should have a quote by the end of the day. Ok now it is day 4, no quote! Well guess what? Yard B got my order. Even if Yard A came back today with a quote for less money it wouldn’t matter. They DON’T GET It.
There wasn’t anything that was over the top special or super impressive that Yard B did, other than the fact that Yard B took care of the customer and at the end of the day that is really all the matters. Keep in mind customer services doesn’t have to be some super special event, you just need to listen and deliver and make sure the customer feels like they were taken care of in a timely manner. You will be surprised how well it works.