Retail Observer

November 2014

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM NOVEMBER 2014 42 S uperb customer service should be a priority year-round, but during the holidays it can be especially important. Forty-five percent of customers say customer service is worse during the holiday season. Sure, your business is flourishing. Sure, the numbers are on the rise and every manager is hustling to hit those bonus numbers. Ask yourself… do those goals inadvertently hinder customer service? Regardless of intentions, it's important we understand customers are just as stressed during the holidays as we are. Perhaps tending to those clogged aisles, cluttered store shelves and messy fitting rooms is not quite as important in a given moment than answering a customer question or directing a customer to the merchandise that's right for them. This year, give your customers the gift of a pleasant shopping experience. AN AMAZING AMAZON EXPERIENCE It's hard to adequately describe the frustration felt when you've ordered something and it is to be delivered to your home, only to have it stolen from your doorstep after its arrival. To add to the frustration of the fact that the item is missing—it's that you just know making things right will be a major hassle. What if this happens to you around Christmas time with an incredibly popular gift for your child? You may feel like pulling your hair out, frustrated with the fact that you will probably have to spend hours trying to get the item replaced, and just how much is this going to cost??? Fortunately, some big companies know what this feeling is like, and will take the time to make things right when their customers run into an unfortunate circumstance like this. That's exactly what happened when an Amazon customer had their $600 PlayStation 3 lifted from their doorstep. The customer called willing to beg for a solution, but Amazon doesn't make their customers jump through hoops to get satisfaction. Much to the customer's shock, Amazon not only sent another PlayStation—free of charge, they also upgraded the shipping to make sure it reached the customer in time to meet Santa's deadline! This is truly an example of turning a miserable situation on its head and leaving a customer with an impression that they won't soon forget. And that they will tell everyone they know. EVERY DAY IS A GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE DAY AT DAIRY QUEEN The DQ ® system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries. Their tagline, "We Treat You Right ® ", debuted in 1980 and is evident every day and especially in Hopkins, Minnesota. Joey Prusak, 19, the store manager at this Dairy Queen provided one of the most exceptional experiences I can recall. Joey is being called a hero after refusing to serve a woman he saw stealing $20 from a blind man who had unknowingly dropped the cash. Prusak gave the woman an ultimatum: Return the money or leave. When she chose the latter, the 19-year-old stepped in and gave the man $20 from his own pocket. According to one of the other customers, Joey approached the man and took out his wallet and said, "Sir, on behalf of Dairy Queen I would like to give you the $20 that you dropped on the ground as you walked away from the counter." Prusak ended up getting a very special phone call from billionaire Warren Buffett, whose company owns Dairy Queen, as well as Dairy Queen President and CEO John Gainor. Buffett requested that Prusak attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in 2014 in Omaha, Nebraska so that he could meet him. At age 19 he already is the store manager. The sky is the limit for someone with awesome ethics and provides great customer service every day. Truth is we have a small window to make a great impression. Take the thirty-second customer interaction time and turn it into something that is worth your time and theirs. Customers are walking into your business willingly – it's your job to make sure they want to come back again and again. We wish every customer a happy and enjoyable experience as they face the holiday rush this year. For businesses, you know what to do – dazzle 'em! RO John Tschohl Customer Service John Tschohl—described by Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru and service strategist—presents strategic keynote speeches to companies worldwide. He is the author of "Empowerment, A Way of Life." Contact: or THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

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