What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
This week I had an experience with two different companies that illustrate the difference between a company that is prepared to delight customers and a company that has no plan for customer service.
Here is the story…
Three weeks ago I finally decided to upgrade to a new iPhone. My old 4S has gotten clunky with the installation of iOS 8. I am a speed freak so that sluggishness just won’t do. I carefully picked just the right configuration and sent my order to T-Mobile.
I was really focused on getting my new phone before I leave for an 8-day trip to the west coast, so I paid the extra $25 for overnight shipping, knowing there was a backorder on the phones.
When I got the email telling me my phone was being shipped, I was ecstatic. I can’t tell you how many times I checked the UPS tracking number to see where my phone was in the process.
I was delighted to see that it was due to arrive at my UPS mailbox on Monday, two full days before my trip. That would give me plenty of time to play with it before I took off.
At 3pm (the delivery time on my tracking order), I dutifully arrived at my UPS store to pick up my new phone. I was so excited!
But the clerk told me the phone wasn’t there, even though UPS had made a delivery that day.
Ok, don’t panic, I told myself, maybe they will make a second delivery.
By 6pm, when the store closed, I decided it was time to call UPS to find out where my phone was.
The manager at the local delivery center couldn’t have been more direct in his directions to me. “You’ll have to call T-Mobile and get a tracer put on it. That’s all I can do for you.”
No matter how many questions I asked, such as “How can you tell me the phone is on a truck and then not have the phone on the truck?” all I got was his stock answer. Basically, the answer was, “I won’t help you. You are going to have to figure it out.”
If you know anything about me, you know I’d worked up quite a head of steam after this call.
My next call was to T-Mobile where Lindsay from Idaho (how she introduced herself) proceeded to commiserate with me and take charge of the process.
First she called 5 stores in the area to see if they had a similar phone in stock that could be delivered to me that night. When that failed, she cancelled my original order and immediately ordered another phone to be mailed out that day, overnighted to my mailbox.
Of course, she immediately reversed the overnight charges that I’d paid in vain.
Needless to say I was delighted with her prompt service and wonderful demeanor.
What impressed me most was that Lindsay was obviously empowered to make a decision to take care of a customer. I’m not even a long-time customer. I’ve only been with that carrier for 60 days.
Lindsay didn’t need to consult a manager or get approval. She just took care of it.
In contrast, the manager at UPS couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do a single thing for me. Nothing, just a stock answer to take care of it myself. He never even said “I’m sorry.”
T-Mobile was obviously prepared for a “worst-case scenario” and had put plans in place to handle it quickly and effectively. UPS just took the easy way out – push the client off on someone else.
My question for you this week is: do you have a plan in place to win a customer for life even when the worst thing happens to them?
Does everyone in your company know the plan and can they execute it flawlessly?
If you’re not prepared, take time this week to put a plan in place.
As we all know, it’s IF something will break, it is WHEN. Be ready when the worst happens and you can turn a terrible incident into a great story.
T-Mobile did and as a result over 20,000 people will read this story about them.