You read about how companies are realizing that the real key to repeat customers is the one-on-one interaction between the customer and individuals at the company. I know, kind of a no-brainer, but sometimes truths like this get lost at companies in noise about efficiency, quality, marketing, sales, technology, and the habits of really effective people.
So now the latest rage is to focus on training personnel how to ensure their interactions with customers wind up being a plus, even when the conversation is about a problem. Or rather, especially when the customer is having a problem.
That all makes sense, but where it hit home for me was this past Monday morning. I was snowboarding at Sugarbowl, and the toe strap binding broke. Which put me in a bind, as I’d rented the snowboard back in Nevada City, not at Sugarbowl.
I went to the rental shop at the Mt. Judah lodge, prepared for the worst – waiting in line to rent a new board for the remainder of the two hours I had. But it was a great powder day, so I was ready to do whatever it took to get back on the slopes asap.
And that’s when Alex stepped it up. He quickly finished helping another skier, then checked out my bindings, took a credit card imprint, and swapped in a pair of his bindings for mine. 5 minutes later I was back in the lift line. And when I finished up, I went back, he swapped in my broken binders, and tore up the credit card slip.
So now, instead of being unhappy about my bad luck, I’m telling my friends about the quality of service at Sugarbowl.
My winning streak continued when I got back to Nevada City. Mountain Recreation gave me a rain check because of the problem, so I’ll get a free rental next time. Again, they turned something bad into a positive.
There’s hope for customer service in the US 🙂