Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do The Right Thing [and you will have good customer service]

I am proud to say that we do not make too many major mistakes at Truman's, but I will also admit that we are not perfect.  Over the course of about 100,000 client visits / men's haircuts over 5.5 years, we have stained three shirts when a team-member was moving too fast and failed to fully remove some residual color chemicals from the wash sink.

The third incident was last week. Invariably, the client has no idea because the offending color stain is on the back of his shirt.  His stylist discovers the spot and then has the unenviable task of breaking the news to the client.  I happened to be at the front last Tuesday morning when this incident occurred.  For me, the answer was easy: Acknowledge the problem, apologize, and act.

In this case I told the client we would replace the shirt immediately.  He was very gracious about the entire situation and did decide to go out immediately to replace the shirt.  To complicate the situation slightly, he had just purchased a Truman's annual membership prior to his service!   In an attempt to minimize his inconvenience, I suggested he need not return with the receipt, but just call us to let us know the total amount that we should return to his credit card from his earlier membership purchase.

As it turned out, he returned 20 minutes later wearing a new Thomas Pink shirt.  It was a great shirt, but I did feel slightly awkward complementing him on his replacement choice.

His response caught me off guard.

"Thank you.  This is great customer service!"

Then it hit me.  In today's service economy, where good service is a real scarcity, the most important thing is simply to do the right thing.

 - Joe