I recently had a problem with my Bose bluetooth headset. I called their customer service department and they solved the problem quickly. They had me return the old one (postage paid) and they sent me a new one. I have had other amazing experiences with Bose over the years…always exceeding my expectations.
Staples went one step further. I had a problem with a desk chair I purchased a year ago. They too sent me a new one. But in this case, I didn’t have to return the old chair. That was easy!
These two positive examples aside, the reality is most customer service departments s**k. Aside from that, most interactions are reactive in nature, taking place only when the customer has a problem.
Yes, there are some companies appear attempt to appear proactive. I’ve received customer service calls where they are checking in to make sure I am happy with their service. However, in most cases, these calls are really a thinly guised attempts to sell me more. For example, my cable company always wants to know if I want more channels (I don’t).
But, the other day I had a completely new experience. I got a call from Verizon Wireless.
I was told that they have a new plan that would save me $30 a month over my current plan. No catch. No extended contract. So I signed up. I also learned that for an extra $10 a month (still saving $20 a month in total) I could link my iPad data to my iPhone data with no activation fee (I once paid $50 a month for just iPad data).
In the end I got a better plan and saved money.
Proactive customer service can be a great way to build loyalty. I know that for me, I’ve moved from being just a customer to being a fan.