Category Archives: delight

Epson – A Customer Service Class Act

When it comes to customer service, Epson is a class act.

My husband came home from a business trip to a printer that mysteriously no longer worked with his computer.  He’s pretty technical, so he tinkered. No dice. He went to the Epson website, found the place to submit a case and immediately received an email acknowledgment.  Besides being tech savvy, Tom’s also impatient, so he continued to tinker. Still no dice.

Two hours later, he received an email with things to try to fix his problem. None of the suggestions matched his tinkering – in fact, as he learned later, he probably made it worse.

Fast-forward to the next day. Tom went back to the website, found the Customer Service number and called.  The Customer Service Rep (CSR) asked  his name, phone number and email address. With just that information, the CSR pulled up his record. The CSR noted his email from the day before, noted the last contact he had with them 8 months ago and because their records told them what printer Tom has, started to solve the problem.

The rep spent 40 minutes, first undoing Tom’s tinkering and then fixing the original problem. Wow. My husband was delighted, and he’s a pretty hard grader.

Everything right
Epson has their customer management system wired. They understand that a customer is more than a set of data  and the CSRs have all the information they need at their fingertips. Once Tom identified himself, the CSR didn’t have to ask questions to understand how he fit into the Epson universe: No serial numbers, no purchase dates, no model number. Nada. In terms of a customer support experience, this is first class.

So whether you’re B2B or B2C and have customers – or you’re an organization that has members – when someone contacts you, are you able to easily see how they fit into your universe and relate to them as a “whole”? Make them feel valued and delight them? Or is the information that defines them scattered and hidden in separate systems and various places, requiring you to ask question after question in order to  understand who they are and what they mean to you, not to mention  why they’d call you in the first place?

Where do you stack up?

Unexpected Delight – from a marketing call?!?

Interruptive marketing calls- we all hate them. The only reason I haven’t signed up for the National “Do Not Call” list is professional curiosity.

Well, I got a call last week from a company that said they were contacting me based on my responses to an online form that expressed interest in their service. Yeah, sure.  I asked which site the form was on (suspecting they wouldn’t have an answer),  asked them to take me off their call list, and moved on.

Yesterday, I received the following  snail mail:

Dir Sir or Madam:

First let me apologize for any inconvenience that we may have caused you. As you requested,we have placed your phone number on our internal Do Not Call list. I’ve also enclosed a copy of <company name’s> “Do Not Call” policy.

Again, I sincerely apologize and ask that you contact me directly at <real phone number> if I can be of any further assistance to you.

Vice President of Human Resources

Wow!  I was impressed.  The letter was dated, had the name and number of a real person, and a copy of their “Do Not Call” policy. Thorough, professional and completely unexpected. If I WAS interested in their services, this is exactly the sort of company I’d want to do business with.

In a world where most interactions are answered with computer-delivered confirmations, this response, even though it was basically a form letter,  seemed personal. Why is that? Because they

  • Responded directly to my specific concern
  • Provided a real person to contact
  • Provided specific information that created transparency (the policy, in this case)

My cynical side fully realizes that in fact, this also served as another opportunity to put their name in front of me. Yet I remain impressed. They turned a no-win situation into a win-win situation by using the opportunity to demonstrate their company values. In the process, they provided unexpected delight. A good return for not a lot of effort – and if I ever need their sort of service, they’ll be at the top of my list.

So – which customer equation could you change by applying the same principles?