There are some terrific examples of Customer Service out there, some we have come to expect, Zappos for one – a large organization built on providing WOW for their customer. When I am listing examples for my clients, one company would never spring to mind and that is Staples. They are the largest supplier of office products nation-wide and a business I have tried to avoid using, until now.
Previous experiences were…
- Lack of care or concern for my copy center needs, several times miscounting or getting it wrong then refusing to correct it.
- Waiting for up to 20 minutes for someone to help or assist me, if they noticed at all.
- Allowing me to leave the store either disappointed or angry at their lack of concern for my solution.
In fact, last summer I had decided to obtain most of my office products from elsewhere. As a result, I thought I’d try one of the other Staples locations and came to the conclusion this problem was much larger than a local manager who didn’t ‘get it’ because I received the same experience at other locations.
All that has changed! Staples is a key supplier for several things I need for my business, and in the last month felt forced to shop there – was I ever pleasantly surprised.
Yesterday I tracked down a manager/supervisor and asked if the management had changed since last summer. He indicated it had not, and wanted to know why I asked. I mentioned my work in the areas of Leadership and Customer Service and told him I was seeing a marked improvement in their store, he was happy to hear it.
Apparently Staples rolled out a nation-wide customer engagement plan to all their stores. I now intend on being a more frequent customer to observe its sustainability and its reach. From what I witnessed in my last two visits, they do appear to understand that customers are the reason for their job, rather than an interruption.
- I had at least 3 employees in different departments ask if there was anything I needed help finding or if I had any questions. Score tally 1
- Managers and supervisors were watching closely to see if anyone looked stranded or lost and directing employees accordingly. Score tally 2
I do hope their customer engagement rollout includes building on that engagement, extending that new customer service goal to include customer experiences as they increase their customer base; they have an incredible opportunity to do so.
Kudos to Staples!
Patti is a strategic advisor in Leadership, Customer Service and Small business. You can book her to speak at her Speakers Page.
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