Customer service is an interesting thing. No matter how many extraordinary things you do to please a customer, if you can’t get the basics right then you’ll never be thought of as company that provides excellent, not to mention good, customer service.
If we at Folbot don’t answer the phones quickly, pleasantly and with helpful information or respond to emails right away, no matter how many times we bail a customer out of a jam by overnighting them a part they need while on an expedition in Costa Rica, we aren’t going to be considered to be excellent at servicing our customers. Excelling at the extraordinary is not enough to be considered to be good.
This weekend I ran into a couple of examples of how important it is to get the basics right.
I am the coach of my son’s baseball team (Go Mets!). We have a really good team, with really good players. But, coaching seven and eight year olds is a challenge on the best of days. Getting them to think ahead about what to do with the ball if it’s hit to them can sometimes be really tough. Going into this weekend, they were undefeated — having thoroughly beaten all comers. But, on Saturday they lost. Why? Because on some key plays they were so concerned about what they were going to do with the ball, that they forgot to make sure they actually caught it first. Catch the ball then make the play.
The second thing that happened had to do with a take out food order. We ordered some chicken strips for the kids, some wings for my wife and me, and a salad (hey, that’s a pretty healthy meal). When I went to pick it up, the food wasn’t ready. Then I heard a lot of chatter, “Where are David’s wings?” The kitchen was telling the servers that they had made the wings. The servers were telling the kitchen that they didn’t have them. They searched through all their other orders, but couldn’t find the wings. Finally, they just made a new batch and handed me the whole order with a lot of apologies. They were super nice and I left feeling just fine about the experience. But guess what happened? When I got home and opened the packages, there was a salad, there was a box with the new piping hot wings and… another box of wings. They forgot the kid’s chicken! In all the hubbub, they forgot to check the original order.
So, what’s my point? Always strive for the extraordinary, but make sure you catch the ball first, get the order right, make damn good folding kayaks and always remember to treat the customer well, respond quickly and do your very best.
You’ll never be extraordinary if you aren’t good first.