Generally, each of us is aware of whether or not we have a good reputation with our friends and co-workers. We've all had experiences with people who have left us thinking ill of them. And, more than I care to admit, I've also been the idiot in the room who ends up with the bad rep. It may be part of the maturity process, or it may just be a personality clash. But no matter what the reason, differences of opinion turn into conflicts pretty easily if we're not careful enough.
It's the same story when we're working with customers, manufacturers, and shippers to deliver a new Embody chair to, for example, Joe in New York. He's bought before and was happy as a clam, but something went awry during the process this time.
And now we have a customer who is less than impressed, don't we. The chair we were supposed to deliver, brand spankin' new, was delayed for some reason, and it won't ship in time. Regardless of the reason, who will the customer call first? Us. Whatever it may look like, that's actually a great opportunity for us to cement our good reputation.
At Smart Furniture, our customer service folks (blessings on you, for all you do) deal with less-than-pleased customers on those rare "problem" occasions. Stuff happens, and instead of making excuses and shifting the blame they do their darndest to make it better. However they can, they'll give our customers a reason to remember that we want them to be happy. It's got to be tangible to really count.
This quote pretty well sums up the reason that Smart Furniture has a good reputation:
"Thanks very much for your e-mail. I appreciate a great deal the way in which you handled the mix-up and delay yesterday. You and your colleagues responded to my calls with understanding and sympathy, and I'm grateful. Indeed, your quick and sympathetic response made a real difference to me in a difficult moment. I had heard wonderful things about your customer service, and these were confirmed by my experience, even as the delivery didn't go as planned. So thanks to you and others at Smart Furniture, who responded in a very humane way. Thank you, too, for the reimbursement—not many companies, I think, would behave this way, and I'm grateful and impressed. With thanks and respect."
- Joseph, Brooklyn, NY
From facepalm to flattery. I hope you'll understand why I'm posting this. It's not that we simply want to promote ourselves, even though we do believe that we have the best customer service out there (at least that's our target).
It's that I'd want to know that a company I'm about to deal with is going to treat me right. I'd want to hear from them that they're committed to customer satisfaction. So there it is—Smart Furniture is committed to customer satisfaction. Whether it's a big sale or a wall shelf, we're all in. Our good reputation is on the line, after all.
"We received the replacement chair today as promised. We are grateful for your old-world customer care. We will happily be back as customers and will make sure to spread the word about what a great outfit you represent."
- L. & K., Brooklyn, NY
(If you're interested, feel free to check out the rest of our customer testimonials.)