Customer Service

Customer (and Partner) Service is something that for me gets regularly pressure tested and often speaks to the underlying philosophy and values of an organisation.

Although there is a full spectrum of experiences we receive as customers, it’s really the edge cases that resonates and lingers. The 10% awesome or 10% terrible customer service, most other falls into some type of BAU and realistically attracts no further cognitive load.

Unfortunately we tend to use our platforms (digital and pre-digital) to swiftly call out the 10% terrible, meanwhile neglecting to do the same with the 10% awesome. It seems difficult or inconvenient in some way to do so, which is a bit of a shame, so here goes…

A couple of months ago I bought a secondhand Milwaukee Finishing Nailer on TradeMe (New Zealand’s answer to eBay etc.) and had been merrily finishing away in my ‘shop, until I realised I had a jam, a really bad jam. In fact such a bad jam that after following all the unjamming instructions simply wouldn’t budge.

Fortunately for me the Milwaukee Service Centre was just down the road, and so although slightly embarrassingly (as if I’d somehow ‘misused’ the tool), I rocked up and explained the situation to the customer service rep.

I’ve been here before BTW… When did you buy the tool, do you have the receipt, is it still in its warranty period… I was ready for that kinda conversation, but it’s a conversation that never came. What came was the rare 10% of awesomeness, the conversation of no drama, let’s get you up and running again, let me fix it for you right now, and he did.

Our products aren’t always as reliable or performant as we’d like them to be and things don’t always go well. That’s just an unfortunate fact of life, however how we deal with that is up to us.

What matters is being open and honest about the situation, demonstrating empathy to our customers / partners and focusing on getting them up and running and back into shape as soon as we possibly can.