Great customer service weekend

Last weekend was a great customer service weekend for me. I not only got great service, I saw a fantastic process in action.

We’re doing a little remodeling upstairs in our house and are getting some new doors. I ordered the doors from Lowes. When they arrived, Lowes called to tell me they were in. I ignored them because I was busy and didn’t need them yet anyway. A few days later they called back and told my wife they would deliver them for free this last weekend if we wanted them to do that. Free is one of her favorite words, so she said “sure.”

They asked her if she wanted morning or afternoon delivery. She said afternoon, between noon and 4pm. They told her the scheduler would call us Saturday night between 6pm and 8pm to confirm delivery within a two-hour window on Sunday between the original four-hour window of noon and 4pm, and that the driver would call about ½-hour prior to arrival.

We were out for a while on Saturday night between 6pm and 8pm for dinner. When we arrived home at 7:30pm I noted that the scheduler had called, but had not left a message. (Those new fangled gadgets from AT&T tell you every missed call.) Oh well, no problem because we intended to be home between noon and 4pm anyway. At 7:55pm the scheduling computer called back and reported (since I answered the phone) that the delivery would occur between 12:30pm and 2:30pm.

On Sunday the driver called at 10:30am to say he would likely arrive before 1pm and he would call when he was ½-hour out. At 12:30pm he called to say he would be there in ½-hour. He and his partner arrived at 1pm and unloaded the doors into my garage where I asked them to place them. He had me sign his paperwork. He then told me the delivery service was separate from Lowes and that I would get a call shortly asking about my experience with the delivery service and to please rate them well if they deserved it. (He did not tell me what you hear at auto dealers that anything other than the top rating was a failure and his children might go hungry because he could lose his job. He simply advised me of the scale they used, which was 1-5.)

Twenty minutes after he left the phone rang and the computer survey began. During the survey they mentioned that if ANYTHING was unsatisfactory they would call me within 1 hour to fix it for me. Well, nothing was, but what a lesson in process improvement we have here.

First, within twenty minutes they know how they did. Second, if there is any problem they are able to respond before I get any madder. Research shows that the #1 issue in how customers rate service recovery is tied to the time it takes to fix it. If they had a problem, they could fix it fast. To be fair, I don’t know if they really do fix it fast because I did not have a problem. But something tells me they do.

And they have a great process to collect valuable information on how they are doing as well.

Do you have rapid feedback processes in place to help your company improve your customer experience?

Mitch

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