Thursday, January 11, 2007

Customer Service

I think customer service is possibly one of the most underrated but extremely important aspects of business. Or maybe it's not even underrated, but it's certainly not pursued to the degree it should be in the vast majority of businesses today. And I say this because I find myself *surprised* when I receive really excellent service. But why should this be?
It makes such a difference, to the point where I will choose a restaurant or a store that has proven to have excellent customer service but may be slightly less quality than another restaurant or store that may have better quality but poor service. I will even go out of my way to seek out the pleasant experience that one derives from good service.

The reason I bring this is up is because I have recently experienced excellent customer service. I bought a pair of Steve Madden shoes online that I had been eyeing for some time, and I just loved them. The dark red ones. The day of their arrival was a joyous one. However, after wearing them only about 8 times, the sole was almost entirly worn off, and in some spots the substance that makes up the base of a shoe was exposed and wearing down. Let me tell you I was less than thrilled.
So, given my 1) tendencies to not accept such unacceptable product degradation and 2) proclivity toward letter/email writing and 3) general sense of entitlement in matters lsuch as this (which is not always a good thing... I'm working on curbing it.), I wrote an email to the Steve Madden Customer Service expressing my disgruntled state.
And wouldn't you know it, they responded the very next day, thankful for my email, and stating that they would give me a full refund for the shoes, pay for shipping costs to return the shoes, and ADDITIONALLY, give me 20% off my next purchase.

I was so shocked I almost shed a tear of joy.
I will forever speak highly of Steve Madden. And probably buy more of their shoes.
And if I ever own a company, you better bet there will be some serious customer service.
Rock on.

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