Written by Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Who would think you could win a customer for life if you let him go to your competition!?
Have you come across a business that has the heart to send you to its competitor because it thinks your need could be better fulfilled there? Not many of us have had that kind of an experience, right? But, whenever such an incident happens, you end up respecting that company more than anything else. When a company puts its customer’s need before its own desire to sell more, you know you are dealing with a truly customer centric organisation. Alas! Such examples are rare!
One such incident occurred with my co-founder, Kushal. He writes:
“It was Friday and I was meeting a bunch of buddies from school after a long time. A couple of them after almost a decade!
I remembered them as the noisy and fun lot who were good at 2 things – Eating and Drinking!
I was looking for a fun place in Bangalore and called a few known eateries. All of them were prompt in answering and good at selling their business, which I totally understand and appreciate. After a few calls and not yet finding the right place I called this fine dining restaurant and spoke with Alex at the reception.
After hearing me out Alex firstly apologised as he did not think his fine dining restaurant was something I was looking for and referred me to another place which suited my needs.
We ended up at this place referred by Alex but on reaching there we realised that my once loud and fun bunch of friends have been tamed by the big bad world and preferred a sophisticated, calm and high end restaurant something similar to where Alex worked. I ended up calling Alex again only to realise that his shift was over. He however arranged my table and when I reached his restaurant we were well taken care of by an army of staff. I had a great night out with friends and Alex made a customer and brand advocate for life.
Alex was my Customer Experience Hero of the day. He came across as a genuine, empathetic, smart and empowered individual who understood his customer’s needs.”
What a way to win a customer!
Here’s another such anecdote that shows how to win a customer for life!
One of B Dalton’s (before it was acquired by Barnes and Noble) old time customer, DD Moffit, visited one of their bookstores to buy a book for her son for Christmas. Like any other dedicated employee of the company, the representative rummaged the directory and found that the requested book was in stock and was still packed. She looked through the packed books and found no copy of the book. She found out that the next shipping was to arrive in a couple of days but could not guarantee the arrival time.
This situation is nothing new. Most of us have had the misfortune of not finding our books and later consoling ourselves to move on. The turning point in the story is that, DD Moffitt was fortunate to not have a similar ending.
The representative immediately made a call to B.Dalton’s competitor, Borders, to check with them if they had stock of the book. The representative gave the customer Border’s contact number, the directions to the store and told her that the book was waiting for her to collect it there!
When every company fears to deal with their competitors, B.Dalton did not hesitate for a moment to reach out to theirs, all for the sake of their customers satisfaction. Yes, it did lose a plausible sale, but with this act it has won a customer for life! B.Dalton’s customers can be now sure of its dedication to give them what they want without any ado.
The representative prioritised the customer’s need, executed selflessly, and, most importantly, focused on good customer service.
Stories like these will always be kept alive by customers. One risk taken, and B.Dalton shot to fame for its commitment towards exceptional customer experience. I am sure there are many such amazing stories that need to be told to the world. Please come forward to share stories about them in our comments section below.
Let’s change the way businesses win customers – by luring them through one-off discounts. Let’s show how being customer centric can get you more customers than through any other means!