I’m a big fan of superior customer service. When I’m a customer, I want it. When someone is my customer, I want to deliver it.
I can’t pin down exactly when it started, but there seems to be a serious lack of customer service happening these days. Cell phone providers and cable companies may have the “horrific customer service” market cornered. But there are glaring examples of really lousy customer service everywhere. Too many to write about.
Sadly, it is difficult at times to relate a story about superior customer service. They just don’t seem to happen very often.
Enter this experience for me that occurred almost exactly 24 hours ago:
I was editing our main website, a Point 2 Agent real estate website. (Purists may scoff at a template based site. Whatever. This thing does what it should do, it provides information for our site visitors and it generates leads for our business by the boat load.)
I still don’t know exactly what I did, but I was knee deep in the CSS and HTML coding of our menu structure. Like an idiot, I was doing the development on the home page with no testing. Well sure enough, I blew something up; rendering the site completely non-functional in Internet Explorer and barely functional in Firefox.
Having no access to root level files (one drawback of a template site, though understandable why they can’t allow it), I was dead in the water. There was no way to fix this without Point 2 tech support and it was 7:30pm on a Saturday night. It was a virtual given that my site would be down until Monday morning.
In a measure of desperation, I posted a plea for help on the Point 2 user forum. I thought maybe there was an offhand chance a moderator would see it and be able to do something. I figured those chances lay somewhere between slim and none, but I had to at least try.
Just less than two hours later, my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number. But I did recognize the 306 area code as being from Saskatchewan, Canada – the home of Point 2 Technology. I answer, and it’s one Barry Willick from Point 2. I’d seen Barry’s posts on the Point 2 forum, and I knew that he knows his stuff. In just a few minutes Barry was able to get me back inside my site editor so I could fix the mess I made of the code. An hour later, we’re back on line.
Now I thought this was superior customer service. Here’s a guy calling me at 10:30pm his time on a Saturday night to help me fix a problem than was completely my fault.
I fired off an email that evening to the Chief Operating Officer of Point 2 Realty Solutions, Brendan King, who I’ve talked to and corresponded with in the past. I wanted him to know how pleased I was with the superior customer service Barry provided. In fact, I made a very unsubtle “hint” that Barry deserved a raise. OK, it wasn’t even a hint. What I said was, “Whatever you’re paying him isn’t enough”.
Brendan responded with a chuckle. Turns out Barry isn’t just some customer support guy. Barry Willick is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Point 2. The CTO making a personal call at a time when a significant portion of the population has retired for the evening isn’t just great customer service. THAT oh avid reader is unrivaled, transcendent, preeminent customer service.
That is a level of customer service that anyone in any service industry should strive for. And if you don’t think real estate is a service industry, then you need to consider a new profession.
[tags]customer service, Point 2 Agent, Barry Willick[/tags]