Many companies overcomplicate their customer experience by using the advice of outside focus groups and consultants. They forget the power of simply showing up. I recently had an unexpectedly pleasant customer service experience just because someone showed up and did their job, and it made a powerful impression on me.
In the Midwest, spring begins to show some signs of life in June. However, along with the occasional 60-degree day comes the obvious reminder of winter’s toll on our neighborhood. It was during one of those 60-degree days that I was walking our dog and noticed our sidewalk looked as if it had been plowed with a jackhammer. There were large cracks and uneven pavement that made walking on it a challenge. The more I stared at the sidewalk the more I wondered who’d be liable if someone were to trip and get hurt…in front of my house, which gets a ton of foot traffic.
I called our City Hall to tell them about the sidewalk. I got passed around to a few departments before getting dropped into a general voicemail box. I left a message with no real expectation of ever getting a response.
The next day I noticed that I had received a call from an unknown cell number. I called the number and I was shocked to learn it was our city maintenance manager, returning my call. He quickly thanked me for alerting him to the sidewalk hazard and promised to look into the issue shortly. I was impressed with his prompt response and sincerity, but I didn’t hold my breath that anything was actually going to get done.
When I returned home that evening my wife mentioned that the city had been in front of our house all afternoon patching the sidewalk. In fact, she said they would return in early July to permanently replace the three slabs that were crumbling.
I was shocked at the quick pace of the repair and called the city manager back to thank him. He was equally shocked to have someone call him back to thank him for his work!
This experience has improved my faith in city services and reminded me of the power of great customer service. I’ve now told this story to a half -dozen people who have all been pleasantly surprised to hear about such a great customer service experience.
Prompt, courteous attention from a live person is the type of service that creates happy customers. Happy customers tell friends and colleagues about their great experiences. Happy customers become loyal because they know you care. It‘s so simple, yet it happens so rarely.
How do you show up for your customers? And what are they saying about their experience with your company? Join the conversation at email@example.com.
This article was originally published on Fleet Management Weekly.