It never occurred to me that a stud finder would make a terrific chew toy for an overzealous family pet. Stranger things have happened, but in all my years as a customer service manager, I thought I’d heard it all.
Usually when we get a StudSensor back in pieces, or significantly damaged, it’s because the stud finder met with some kind of human consequence. The car backed over it. It fell off a ladder. It was left out in the rain. A dog using a stud finder as a favorite chew toy? This was a new one, even for me. The tool was immediately replaced for the owner. I assume the family dog has a new, more appropriate, chew toy to gnaw on now.
As I think about this most recent situation, I’m intrigued at how funny and interesting customer interactions can be and how working directly with our customers create memorable stories worth sharing.
Replacing a Zircon tool for a customer is not difficult. But what can be a a challenge is witnessing a customer’s frustration when things don’t work out with a new tool purchase. When the phone rings or an email comes in from a customer, more often than not, his thought is that he spent his money on an item that isn’t working and feels cheated. We, however, are more than thrilled that the customer is giving us the opportunity to resolve their situation–be a hero for them. Often, we are successful. We listen, sympathize, and then reach a solution or a good work-around that is satisfactory to both parties. It’s usually a simple solution that is the key. These days, there is a world wide web of information at our fingertips. The ubiquitous smart phone that everyone has in his pocket is a great thing, but it’s also a curse in some ways. Sometimes, these devices take away the incentive for human contact. You’d think it would make things easier, but it’s not always the case. Most people enjoy the opportunity to help other people, even if they’re strangers. I’m in the business of helping people, but it still never fails to amaze me how generous the average guy on the street is when you ask him for his help.
When I speak with our customers, I make sure I’m smiling. I introduce myself and make sure that my first words are welcoming. It works. Human interaction. Despite the issue, when you call any customer service help desk line, try to give the person on the phone a chance to help you. Information is wonderful. The internet has opened up the world for us in many ways. However, it will never replace personal human interaction. Whether your dog ate your brand new gadget, or you just can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, there is someone who is willing and able to help you. Give them a chance. You may be surprised to learn that even after your new device succumbed to an unlikely encounter, it may still work – or at the very least, there is a solution in mind for you.
Sometimes we don’t just save frustration, but help with bigger issues. Please take a look at our blog, “We’re on a Boat”. We love to hear how great customer service can help you. Join me the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month at 11 am PST for Zircon’s #diytrends Twitter chat. Engage, learn and share!