Thinking Long-Term: A Customer Service Story
The following is a story of some amazing customer service that Ben and I received about a year ago, and the long term impact that it had on us. Last spring, we were in the middle of setting up our (then) future baby’s room, and realized that we needed a carpet. The wood floor in there was in good shape but unfinished, so we thought we could just get a remnant carpet bound by this one local rug place that has a really great selection of remnants for reasonable prices. And that way, if we got a big enough rug, it would cover up most of the floor and make the room cozier to boot. So we headed on down to the rug store.
Shortly after arriving, a really nice guy came over to help us pick out a remnant in a color/material that we liked. He explained to us that they would just bind up the edges and we could come pick it up in a few days. We paid for it in advance, and then left.
But then we started thinking about the wood floor–maybe it would be nice if it was refinished. We might as well do it now while the room was virtually empty. So we arranged for that to be done, and when we got the phone call that our rug was ready, the floor was still drying, so we asked them if they could hold it there for us for a few more days. They said that was no problem. Anyway, to make a long story somewhat shorter, the wood floor ended up looking really good, and we started wishing that we could get a smaller rug than the one we had already bought so that more of the floor would show. Ben decided he would call the rug store and talk to them, just to see what our options were.
The person Ben spoke to was unbelievably nice. They listened as he explained the situation we were in, but then said that the tough thing for them was that the rug had already been bound and it was ready to go. They paused for a second, and then asked Ben an amazing question. They said, “what would be the best possible outcome for you?” Ben, floored, said, “well…I guess the best thing would be…if I could get my money back?” And the guy said, “then that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
Ben called me immediately. We could not believe that that person had been so accommodating, and, of course, we told a bunch of friends and family about it just about every chance we got. This store clearly understands the value of making the customer happy, and they also clearly know the age-old principle of good customer service: pleasing the customer might mean losing money in the short term, but it will actually make a business money in the long term.
And we are living proof of that. Because when the FreshySites office needed carpeting, guess who we called, without even a second thought? That same rug company that served us so well last spring. They made a lasting impression on us, and showed us that they are a great company to do business with, because they will treat their customers well no matter what the cost to them. Now that’s long-term thinking. That’s what customer service is all about.