Shep Hyken's Customer Service Blog

Guest Post: What Great Customer Service Looks Like

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Karin Hurt writes about an experience she had that illustrates truly great customer service. –Shep Hyken

The Best Superbowl Advertisement Ever

It was Superbowl Sunday just before kickoff.  It was the first appointment the Apple Genius Bar had available.  My hard drive had crashed, and I was in a tailspin.  The book I had finished that weekend, was stuck in a system that wouldn’t boot, the last third lost with no back-up.  Not to mention the trapped keynote presentations and other docs I’d lost.

Apparently, the editing of the video we filmed Saturday was just too much for my little MacBook Air. I waited with fearful expectation for my turn and diagnosis, anticipating the rolled eyes I deserved.  After all, what ding bat does a big project without a net?  I felt like a rookie.

Tony called my name and I shared my story. I was disturbed by his odds, but strangely comforted by his approach.

Oh, Karin, that’s just terrible, it could be bad.  I’m not sure we can recover your files.  But,  you have my absolute commitment that I’ll do everything in my power to fix this.   OUR goal is to have you leave here with your book, the rest of your data, and a fully functional laptop

It’s complicated, and I can’t make promises, but here are the first 3 options we’ll try… if those don’t work, I’ll explain our other options and we’ll decide together.

After my 30 minute appointment morphed into full surgery, Tony brought in reinforcements.  The  prognosis was improving, but it would take a while.

Chatting to keep me off the ledge, Tony shared  gently:

You know the video work you’re trying to do on this is a lot for this computer. It will work… but it’s not ideal. I know you don’t want to think about that now… just something to consider in the future.

I had time to kill, so I told him I was off to wander around.   Tony introduced me to John to answer any questions I had while I browsed.

I told John the whole story.  His eyes brightened.

“You’re writing a book! Oh way cool….. what’s it about?  .…HE LISTENED

He shared, “I write too, mostly fiction…screen plays…working on a sitcom.   NOW I’M LISTENING

…And I do video… this is what I use.   That’s actually my dream, but I love working here because I stay up to date on all the technology. I’M LISTENING AND LEARNING

Are you using iMovie? HE’’S LISTENING

How’s that been for you? HE’S LISTENING MORE.

“Do you like to travel,” he continued… I find most artists like to travel… I sure do.   NOW HE CALLED ME AN ARTIST.  NICE.

“You know, once you publish your book, you should bring it in so we can all celebrate together about the book we saved. WE WERE IN THIS TOGETHER.

He continued, it’s so nice seeing someone pursuing their passion. THE FEELING WAS MUTUAL.

So there we were 2 “artists” spending Superbowl Sunday chatting about dreams.

I left the store with my book, a working laptop, a new desk top computer, and a joyous heart inspired with possibility.

I woke up at 3 am the next morning, gave the book a once over on my new machine and hit send, feeling like an “artist.”

 Great Customer Service Feels Like…

  • Respect
  • Deep Caring
  • Human connection
  • Commitment to resolution
  • Being “In It” together
  • Leaving the customer feeling like their best possible self

Whether your  customers are external or those you are leading, connection matters.

Your turn, what would you add?

Karin Hurt is an experienced executive leading in a Fortune 15 company. Her mission… to build the next generation of high-performing, high-trust leaders. Named to the 2014 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and 2013 Multiplier of the Year.

For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com

 
  1. What a great story. I have always had good experiences at apple. I’ve even had an employee replace my phone for free despite it being out of warranty. It’s a good lesson for anyone in business to look at other business that provide excellent customer service and adapt those strategies to their own company. Good customer service is usually a sign of good management.

  2. The best part is the honest and real communication that was being delivered. It seems like larger (not all) support organizations train robots to read from a script and not LISTEN. Front line support are part problem solvers and at times part therapists.

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