Last week I bought a new pair of shoes, nothing strange there, I like shoes. On the first day I wear them I realize immediately something was wrong. The left shoe felt much bigger then the right one, initially I thought is was only on my head but after a few steps it was more than clear that there was a problem with the shoes. After measuring both shoes it was clear they had a factory problem even though they were marked with the same size number. I searched for the receipt so I could go back to the shop and get a new pair or maybe a refund. Except the receipt was nowhere to be found… Ok this was going to be a hard one, no receipt on a sales season they will not give me a new pair.
I started to anticipate the discussion I was going to have with the lady at the shop. Days before Nuno was talking about the book “How to Say No And Not Feel Guilty” and I was eager to put some of those things in practice. I set myself to not leave the shop without reaching my goal. So I took the shoes and went to the shop without the receipt prepared for the worst. This is what happened:
Me: I bought these shoes but there is a factory problem, they have the same size but are actually different sizes.
My internal dialog: Hold yourself and don’t say anything about the receipt, don’t say anything about the receipt.
Her: Really? (she measured the shoes comparing them) You are right, I am going to check if we have another pair.
Five minutes later she comes back.
Her: Here it is another pair. Would you like to try?
I tried them they were ok, I went back to the counter thinking that when they discover I don’t have the receipt all this kindness is going away.
Except she made the switch and gave me the new pair.
Her: Here you go, I am terribly sorry for the inconvenience.
Me: Thank you for your help.
My internal dialog: Is this for real? They didn’t asked for the receipt. Great!
I walked out of the shop incredible happy it went really well I was totally surprised. I didn’t have to complain I simply asked one thing they recognized the error and fixed it in no time. To be totally honest I even thought they treated me so well not because they were aware that this was great client support but simply because they were genuine and didn’t knew exactly what to do in that case. The bottom line is that I went there thinking in getting my money back and never buy any other pair of shoes on their shops and left with a great feeling that they are super efficient and I always should buy my shoes there.
This experience made me think deeply on what is quality customer support and how should I be treating my clients.
Customer support it’s a hard thing, I always thought it was kind of bullshit the moto “client is always right” simply because he isn’t. I have come to realize recently that is not about who is right or wrong it’s about the experience, it’s about the client being able to fully take advantage of your product at the same time he fulfills his needs. If you manage to help them in that process they will love you, they will remember you, and most important they will refer you, and that’s the best marketing you can get.