Friday, May 13, 2011

Yes, actually. The customer IS always right.

Can someone please tell me what happened to good customer service? You know, where you are greeted shortly after you come in. Where sales associates are available but not hovering. Friendly, knowledgeable and helpful without a hardcore sales pitch. Where you are made to feel welcome rather then an intrusion on their day.

I miss that.

There are places here in Swift that have AMAZING customer service. Earlier this week I was shopping for new eyeglasses. This is a chore I avoid for years at a time. Eye glasses are so much a part of your face that unless you are blessed enough to be able to afford several pairs you can change depending on mood, finding the perfect set is imperative. In my search I visited several options and was treated really well at all of them. But I need to do a shout out to Optical Image (you can find them on facebook under ‘Oi’ ). I was blown away by fantastic, AMAZING, yes I want to buy here customer service.
Their mission statement is right on their facebook page.
Our Mission Is:
To make every encounter at Optical Image an experience.
To create excitement and fun over a unique selection of eyewear.
And to provide customers with more than they pay for

I love it! Their MISSION is excellent customer service. And it’s not just on paper, the people there really do make that a priority. I was greeted when I walked in. Left alone to browse for a bit while the sales associates were helping others but with little check in’s along the way. They seemed to know exactly when I was ready to stop browsing and get serious and there someone was. They gave me honest input on my choices and made other suggestions as well. And not as an ‘upsell’ either. Suggested frames ran the whole gambit of pricing as they helped me narrow down and finally find just what I was looking for.

When you are in retail, this is who you need to be. This is who we try to be here at Unforgettable. Helping a person find their ‘Unforgettable Style’ is a careful balance between staying in a shoppers comfort zone while guiding them toward that look that will really make them feel beautiful. And just as importantly, we believe in taking the time to go the extra mile for every single customer. It’s the very foundation of what we do here.

Today we had a grad gown color issue that could have gone very badly if handled differently. The supplier made a mistake. A mistake that they could not fix beyond offering a credit on the return.  Many stores could have simply said “the gown is wrong, here is a refund, so sorry.”  And been genuinely sorry and not in the wrong to do that. The issue? A grad ends up left without a gown with 6 weeks to the big event. This is where true customer service needs to step in and say “Let’s fix this.” We found a comparable gown, in the right color, for a good price from a supplier who could get it here quickly.  We contacted the grad as soon as we had confirmation and called when it arrived. Today they were in and left the store happy.

Mistakes happen. No company or person is perfect and sometimes the wrong color or size will show up no matter how many times numbers are checked and double checked. What makes the difference between good customer service and AMAZING customer service is what happens after that. I would really like to think that our customers will be as happy and impressed with our store as I was with Optical Image this week.

Have you ever had an AMAZING customer service experience? I want to hear about it! What made it so fantastic?

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Royal Wedding post.

Yes, I am a week late on this post. But I wanted some time to think it over and find what I could say that hasn’t been said already by a million royal watchers.  Something you may find worth reading. And I discovered I was able to come up with, well, nothing.
So, instead of enlightening insight I will give you my opinion.
The gown – PERFECT! It is classy, simply, beautiful and so perfect for Princess Kate. She couldn’t go strapless, it’s a cathedral wedding and there are rules to be followed. But while the lace top kept the gown modest, the v-neckline on that top made the look really sexy in a very classy kind of way.
The groom - *swoon*! Am I the only one with a thing for men in uniform? Loving that he chose the red.
The maid of honour – another example of the ‘rules’ going out the window. Yes, your bridesmaids can wear the same colour as the bride. No one is going to confuse you, trust me. And making your bridesmaids look stunning can only help you look better.
The nods to Princess Di – so great. I can’t decide if the media is making more to this then there really is but I always love to see a couple put something personal and meaningful into their ceremony. In this case, the royal couple chose to use a venue, officiate, flowers and music that were all tied to the grooms late mother.  
The hats – next to the gown my favourite part! Can we bring back hats? They are the perfect finishing touch to a great outfit. I already carry ‘fascinators’ in the store. I will track down a hat supplier. Weddings of the world need more hats.
So what can a bride take away from this great event? In my humble opinion, Kate and Will did an amazing job of showing today's brides the beauty of balance.
While perhaps the hardest part of any wedding, finding a way to balance what you want with tradition and family is key. Princess Kate bucked tradition by insisting on wearing her hair down, despite the expectation that all princess brides in England wear their hair up. She also chose to ride in a limo to the church, rather then the traditional glass carriage. She chose a gown that suited her personality and style and allowed her maid of honour to do the same. But, tradition was followed in the ceremony, the transportation from the church home, the music during the ceremony, the acknowledgment to the unknown soldier and in so many other ways.
Kate did what exactly what I've said. Choose what matters most, and let family take care of the rest. It will make your life much easier and they will appreciate being a part of your big day.