Shining Example Of Good Customer Service

by derek on November 19, 2009 · 17 comments

Customer Service

It is far too common that we read stories about horrific customer service experiences while the companies that provide outstanding customer service go unrecognized.
For those that have been around the blog for awhile, you will know that I have given recognition in the past and also offered suggestions on what one of my favorite companies, Southwest Airlines, could do to make me even happier (for the record, I’d like to think that they’ve listened as they now offer you a selection of three to four different snacks).
Awhile back we even discussed that the best way to earn repeat business is to go above and beyond the expectations of your customer.
Today I want to tell you about Terra Green Ceramics, a company that I feel has gone above and beyond when it comes to customer service.

The Background

Yes, it might be pure craziness to be taking on a home remodeling project during the holidays but my wife and I have decided the time has come to remodel our kitchen.
We have selected all of our products and everything has been moving along smoothly. Earlier today my wife stopped by the store to order the glass tile for our back splash, so I was shocked when I received a text message from her that indicated the tile we wanted was no longer available.
Poof!
Our well laid out plans were derailed. Now we’d have to pick out a new back splash…which might require the selection of a different counter to match…which then might not match the cabinets.
Ugh! I could see the snowball of changes coming as a result of this one small curveball and was ready to scrap the entire remodeling job. Sure that sounds drastic, but the thought did cross my mind even if only for a second.

Is it really unavailable?

After hearing the news that the tile was not available at this store, I decided to look up the company that makes the tile to see if we might be able to get it somewhere else.
At 11:42am I sent off an email to the Customer Service address listed on the Terra Green Ceramics website to inquire about the availability of this tile. The hope was that maybe the store we visited simply has stopped carrying this particular tile, not that the manufacturer has stopped making it completely.
Not expecting to hear anything for at least a day or two (best case scenario in most instances), I continued on with my business for the day.

Blown Away

Less than 15 minutes after sending my email, I had a response from Jennifer at Terra Green Ceramics. Jennifer indicated that the tile should still be available and she asked for clarification on the size of tile we desired.
Really? 15 minutes!
I was already impressed with the rapid response time to my inquiry, but Jennifer did not stop there.
Without me asking, she called the store that we had visited and spoke to the person that had actually helped my wife and explained things to him. She sent me back an email indicating that we should be able to return to the store and they would be able to help us out with our order.
Wow!
So not only did all of this take place within a span of roughly 30 minutes, but the response to my inquiry involved a call to the store we were shopping at so Jennifer could clarify things with the store. With what might seem like a small act on her part, Jennifer eliminated so much angst over having to completely redesign our kitchen plans (okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration).
About the only thing that could have made this experience even better is if Jennifer had told me that Terra Green wanted to go ahead and provide us with all of the glass tile we needed for our kitchen. Ahem, Jennifer…anything you can do there? 😉

Giving Thanks Where Thanks Is Due

As I said earlier, often times these shining examples of customer service go unnoticed but I wanted to be sure that I took a moment of my time to thank Jennifer and Terra Green Ceramics for going above and beyond my expectations.
And guess what?
When it comes time to remodel our bathrooms, finish the basement, or any other possible job that could involve the use of tile, we will remember Terra Green Ceramics.
When we learn of a friend tackling a project in their home, we will not hesitate to recommend Terra Green Ceramics as a company that is a pleasure to do business with.
So, Jennifer, please accept my sincerest of thanks for taking the time to help us today. You might not have realized it at the time, but your actions provided much peace of mind that our kitchen remodeling job will proceed as planned with each of our preferred product selections.
To the people at Terra Green Ceramics, I certainly hope that you appreciate employees like Jennifer and give them their due recognition for doing their job extremely well.
Hopefully more companies recognize the value of quality customer service like this and take the steps necessary to earn the repeat business of their customers. Often times it is the small things that make people happy and remember your company the next time they need to make a purchase, not to mention getting people in the blogosphere and social media talking about you.
Photo credit: roland @ flickr.com

Stay In The Loop!

Subscribe to the Derek Semmler dot com feed via RSS or Email to receive notifications when new posts are published. Follow the WordPress ninja on Twitter too!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug C. November 19, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Derek, that is an awesome story. I’m a firm believer also in shouting from the rooftops about good customer service. It’s true we do not see this level of commitment in today’s service market.
Recently I deleted the homepage on my web site and so I called HostGator (my hosting company). The tech who answered was very polite and understanding and he walked me through step by step on how to apply for a complete site restore. He then explained how I could make regular backups myself through the control panel so that in the future if this happened again they could restore my site from my own backups.
Before they even began to restore my site I was contacted by the actual CEO of HosGator (via email) and he asked me a few questions to make sure that restoring my site was the best option. When we decided it was I was then contacted by the tech who was going to do the restore and he asked me a few questions as well. I was impressed with how concerned they were about this process so that no mistakes were made (on my part or theirs). Finally they restored my site and everything was back to normal.
In today’s market this kind of customer service needs to be commended so I always try to answer the surveys they send me with shining praise (there’s usually a follow up email with a survey link in it to rate the service I received).
And yes, after this experience I can easily recommend HostGator to anyone who needs hosting service.
.-= Doug C.´s last blog …The Art of Being Real =-.

Reply

derek November 20, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Doug, more companies need to realize that putting forth this type of effort will endear themselves to their customers.
I’ve done my best to repay the level of service that I received by publicizing it here, as well as on twitter, and also being sure to send a note along to Jennifer’s manager commending her for the attention to detail and exceeding my expectations.
Thanks for sharing your story about your hosting. I’m happy to hear that they did so much to make things right!

Reply

seslichattv November 22, 2009 at 5:50 am

Thanks for sharing your story about your hosting.

Reply

Mical Johnson December 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Customer Service should be getting better. We have more ways than ever to contact our customers with email, phone, text, snail mail, twitter and other social media sites. It’s great to see an excellent example of that.
.-= Mical Johnson´s last blog …Fortune 500 company or Online Scammer? =-.

Reply

Thomas @ Los Angeles New Infiniti Dealer December 18, 2009 at 11:10 am

I think that customer service has really gone down the drain over the years… the fact is that people just do not respect one another like they used to. BUT it is absolutely great when you do get great customer service.. and then again the question comes into play, why is it great service? is it because we expect so little? or that we get what we want and that means great service?

Reply

derek December 22, 2009 at 9:51 am

Thomas, you’ve touched on something that I think many people overlook and that is that we often feel the service is great when we get our desired result yet the opposite is true when we don’t get what we want. Looking back on it, I’d have to say that there have been times where the service was probably even better when I didn’t get what I wanted but my perception of the service is impacted by the outcome.
Interesting aspect to consider when it comes to service. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Max Speed December 21, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Yes Thomas is right customer service has really gone down. Why the Companies are not concentrating on customer satisfaction ? They only concentrating on there companies advertisements. This not the good way .
U R article is good example of such Organizations.

Reply

wall decals March 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I have noticed that the last couple of times I have gone to restaurants that they are trying harder to make sure that we had a good meal. Maybe companies are starting to realize how important customer service really is.
I know in our business we try to make every attempt to have good customer service. Not saying we are perfect but make we try to be.

Reply

Mazel Tov March 17, 2010 at 6:13 am

That is a good example thanks for sharing dood.

Reply

Diyet May 2, 2010 at 2:46 am

I am using hosting service for 2-3 years. Thanks for sharing your story.

Reply

Charlie@Contact Center Philippines June 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I just went through your blog and read your post. Your posts are indeed worthy reading. Customer servicing and support is an important part of any business function. Business success depends on the satisfaction that customers derive out of products and/or services provided. Each customer interaction is important as it represents an opportunity to turn an enquiry into tangible sales. The importance of a 24/7 support process cannot be ignored and it is one investment that can deliver a high ROI through good customer servicing.

Reply

Ceviz Fidanı March 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Customer is always right

Reply

Steve@Electric Cig October 7, 2011 at 5:25 am

This is what i always say about Customer service. It may increase or decrease your sale. Customer service is an asset to your company. It can bring you more sales if they are good. Remember that if you’re customer is happy because your customer service resolved their issues, they will recommend your company to their friends and families thus bringing more income in your end.

Reply

Simon from SS Ace inc November 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

I do agree that the customer service is very important part of doing business and i think smaller company have better customer service, the big ones they just don’t care if they will lose 1 or 2 customers over a bad service.

Reply

Mikhail Tuknov December 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

Customer support is very necessary, and before hiring any company you must check that it should be able to provide you good customer support so that it would be able to solve all your queries and problems.

Reply

Orlando Steak House February 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

Here in Orlando, Florida the restaurant business is an extremely competitive market. Good Customer service is crucial. Especially in the restaurant business. People have grown tired of paying high prices and receiving mediocre service. Good restaurant Customer service can make all the different in the World.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: