In the lead up to Christmas I had some ridiculously bad customer experiences which got me thinking — shouldn’t this be a time of year when companies try to go the extra mile to ensure everything goes smoothly for customers? If you subscribe to the philosophy of ‘delighting’ customers as a way to gain their loyalty and win new ones via word of mouth (including social media channels), then surely the holidays offer (potential) customer-centric organisations a major opportunity. Imagine the company that gets that last minute present delivered as promised, or better yet, pushed the order through to make sure you got it. Yippee! Surely by going a little bit beyond a standard service experience organisations could amplify the delight by delivering exceptional service at a time when customers are pushed for time and feeling the pressure to get everything done by the holidays?
I’ve had the opposite experience. I’ve had a major department store send me six separate parcels to complete a single online order. This meant that I had to go to the post office at Christmas time when queues and waiting times are the worst to pick up all the deliveries. We also freshened up our broadband provider due to crappy service and in order to cancel it, I had to call and was on hold for over an hour and spoke to three different people! Did they not have enough staff on, or do they just not care? Either way, it was a nice little story I amplified using good old word of mouth during the holidays over the Christmas turkey!