The Worst Customer Experience and The Lessons I Gleaned from it.
Today, I had the WORST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EVER! Seriously. I was shocked!
Backing up a bit: I needed a glass piece for my table. I called a couple places, and the reason I picked this specific business was (ironically) of their customer service. I asked for a quote, and they asked a few questions back to me. The other places literally just gave me what I asked for - a quote. But this lady asked if I had kids, do I need tempered glass etc. And she made me feel secure and I knew I would get exactly what I wanted because she was thorough. So I went with that company - not because of price point, but because of the customer service.
Fast forward to today:
They called me last week, and told me my glass was ready to be picked up. I said, no problem! Probably will be there Friday. And then I hung up the phone and completely forgot to ask my husband to pick it up.
She called today - as soon as I saw the number I was like, oh shoot, I forgot to pick up the glass. So I answered, and she was so rude to me. I apologized about forgetting about Friday, and she still was short. I hung up, and basically went to pick it up right then.
I walked into the building, and again, the receptionist was so rude and short. Then I saw a plaque on her desk that said something like, "I was going to give you a nasty look, but it looks like you already have one." I was surprised. This is the first thing that greets me, as a customer, when I walk through the door? It's basically a sign saying, "I don't want to deal with you!"
I paid for the glass, and left, surprised at how brutal the customer service was, but it didn't end there. One of the men who was putting the glass in my van was incredibly rude too! I was very surprised.
Needless to say, I will never be going back there.
As I drove home (very carefully), I analyzed this experience, and found a few lessons for a business owner.
- Hire Happy: When you are hiring people, especially receptionists, hire someone who is naturally friendly and nice. If someone has RBF, don't hire her for that position. It won't bode well for you. We have all met the receptionists who are friendly and remember names and things about you, and those people that have a gift to make you feel special. Hire her. Who (or what) is your customer facing as soon as they walk through your doors?
- Create a Nice Culture: If you have a negative workplace culture, then your receptionist will feel free to put negative plaques all around the office. Also, how you treat your employees will be how they in turn, treat customers. Make them happy to be at work. Figure out what makes them tick - is it more money, or time off, or just you taking the time to compliment them. When a customer enters a workplace, the vibe is there. Are people happy? Are they angry? All these vibes contribute to a customer experience.
- Fresh Eyes: Come into your business with fresh eyes. Try to see what your customers are seeing. Is it confusing? Do they know where to go? Are they greeted nicely, or ignored? All these things matter. Even better, get someone else to walk in for you, and to report back what was good, what was bad, etc.
Customer service is key when running a business. Positive feelings matter. If a customer is unhappy, they can go to social media and run with bad (and very public) reviews, or simply never use you again. These people had a chance to get me for life. I'm not a fan of running around, looking at quotes. If I like someone, or their work (usually both) then I'm theirs forever. Consider this!!!