All companies want to deliver great customer service, but so many fail to achieve their aim. But the solution is simple. There are really only two things you need to know if you want to deliver outstanding customer service:

  1. Say “Yes” to any reasonable – and even unreasonable – customer request. Don’t equivocate, don’t say that you need to talk to your boss, and above all, don’t say “No.” Simply say “Yes!
  2. Follow through. Take immediate steps to meet your commitment.

If you do these two things consistently across your organisation, I guarantee that you will be the service leader for your market. I’ve just got back from Providence in Rhode Island, USA, and experienced two excellent examples of great customer service.

First, I bought some trousers from Nordstrom, the department store. Unfortunately, the trousers were a bit too long and required an alteration. As I was leaving town, I needed them by 8.00 pm, in just two hours time, way outside their standard 48 hour alteration service promise.

Can you help?” I asked Gina, the sales assistant. “Yes!” she replied and she fetched the alterations assistant and ensured that the trousers were ready by the 8.00 pm deadline.

Second, I was having lunch in my hotel, the Renaissance in Providence when my server spilt aioli over my white shirt. Frank, the restaurant manager, came over to assist.

Can you help?” I asked him. “Yes!” replied Frank, and asked if I had another shirt to change into, as he would get the shirt dry cleaned within the next 30 minutes.

I was impressed by Frank’s promise and commitment, but even more so when he returned just 20 minutes later with two bags. The first bag contained my shirt, now with a slight stain still visible. Frank explained – very apologetically – that the stain couldn’t be removed. In the second bag, however, was a brand new, identical shirt that he had bought to replace the damaged one. No arguments, no forms to fill; Frank just took it upon himself to sort out the issue and replace the shirt.

I couldn’t recommend Gina at Nordstrom and Frank at the Renaissance highly enough. Why? Because they simply said “Yes!” and then followed through.

How many of your people would do the same?

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.