How many times have you heard horror customer service stories? You know the ones – bored assistants that look like they don’t want to be there; being spoken to rudely, or down to, by a manager; having to pay for a repair job even though the problem wasn’t fixed.

We’ve all had bad experiences – far too often in my eyes.
It’s not rocket science to know that you need to speak politely to customers and listen to what they want. The trouble is, lots of businesses do that, and STILL they’re struggling to maintain or grow their enterprise.

So what is it that makes a business really stand out from the rest?

For me, it’s all about the experience. Giving the customer an experience they won’t forget. Something that not only meets their expectation, but beats it. Going the extra mile!

Just recently I bought a pair of shoes from an online store. This was a bit different than your normal pair of shoes though. I got to design them myself!

Now, I’m a bit of a procrastinator – not good at making quick decisions – so I ummed and ahhed about the design over a couple of months, and not once did the business tell me I had to hurry up and make my mind up. In fact, they sent me handy little emails with suggestions based on the design I had saved at the time. Handy, relevant advice I didn’t ask for – my experience ‘thermometer’ was rising.

Once I had finally taken the plunge, I submitted my order and got an email confirming the shipment date, which was only a couple of weeks. I thought that was pretty miraculous in itself considering they had to make the shoes from scratch. Then, in about a week’s time, I received another email with a video showing me how the shoes were made. Sooo cool – experience thermometer really intensifying now!

When the postman delivered my package (which was prior to the date I was expecting), I got so much more than just shoes! Inside the package was a luxurious box, tied up with ribbon, with a handwritten card on top, thanking me for my purchase and hoping I enjoyed the shoes. Along with the gorgeous shoes, was a photo of the shoes (just in case you are organised enough to have shoe boxes in your wardrobe!), a pouch to pack the shoes in when travelling, a care kit with an extra pair of heel caps, a cloth and some shoe inserts.

By this stage, my experience thermometer had well and truly hit boiling point and was overflowing!!

I was expecting a pair of shoes, but what I got was someone that cared about me and my shoes. And what did I do from there on in? I showed off my little package to my mum and sister and friends as they called in over the course of the next couple of weeks, as well as took the whole package in to work and showed the other six girls that I work with.

For me, I received the ultimate customer experience. For Shoes of Prey, positive word of mouth advertising to the core target market and a definite repeat customer. Doesn’t get any better than that!