Free Frozen Yogurt
Written By: Troy Tait
During a recent trip with my wife, I had an experience that caused me to do some serious thinking about customer service and what it really means. We were in an airport waiting for our flight home when we decided it was a good time for some frozen yogurt. When we arrived, we received some disappointing news from the worker. She said she had just clocked out for lunch and would not be able to help us for 30 minutes. Apparently, once she clocks out, she can't accept any form of payment. Well, that wasn't going to work for us since we had a flight to catch. She could sense our disappointment and tried to come up with a solution. She talked to a cashier at a business next door to see if they would accept our payment. They were not able to help, so she was on to her next idea – free yogurt. She gave us a cup and said it was on her this time. We again offered to pay – leaving enough cash to cover the cost easily – but she wouldn't accept it. She simply said, “help yourself” and went off on her lunch break.
As I ate my yogurt, I couldn't help but wonder if this action was company policy or if it was just a decision the employee made. I also wondered if the other patrons – who had arrived a few minutes before us and had to pay for their yogurt – felt this was a fair solution. Regardless of what anyone thought, my experience with this business was positive, and the next time I am in the area, I will make sure I stop by and this time make a purchase.
Customer service is a pretty strong concept in the world of business. Many companies claim to offer the best possible service; some even claim to have the gold standard. But how many of these companies really understand what it means? I would say most only measure customer service when something goes wrong, and a decision needs to be made on how best to resolve the issue. While that is true, I feel companies who really embrace customer service strive every day to create the best possible customer experience. When things go wrong, they are quick to resolve, but the real goal is to create a memorable experience - without issues - that will keep customers coming back.
Companies with a strong focus on customer service spend countless hours evaluating their process to prevent errors or mistakes that might lead to a negative experience. Think about that, if I were to ask you right now to think of a company or place of business that offers exceptional customer service, I bet your answer would not be based on something negative that happened. It would most likely be based on a positive experience. For example, you may have a favorite restaurant that you visit regularly. While the food may be good, you probably go again and again because the service is really good – in fact, you might even have a favorite table or server. Excellent customer service – in addition to a quality product – is what makes the customer experience truly memorable."Excellent customer service – in addition to a quality product – is what makes the customer experience truly memorable."
I also think it is safe to say that the car you choose to drive is one you feel is safe and reliable. I have never heard anyone say, "I chose this car because it constantly breaks down and leaves me stranded, but at least they take good care of me and get it fixed quickly." We make choices every day that provide interactions with a wide range of businesses. If our experience is positive, we generally go back. If it isn't great, we usually stay away, and more importantly, we tell others about it.
I have been at Med One for over 25 years. During that time, I have watched our company evolve and grow. Providing our customers with the best possible experience has always been a top priority. We strive every day to improve our daily processes to ensure our customers have a positive experience. If something doesn't go as planned, we work together with the customer to find an equitable solution that will remedy the situation. One thing that is important to point out, in my opinion – great customer service doesn't necessarily mean the customer is always right; however, the customer does deserve to be treated fairly, respectfully, and with a listening ear. It is incredible how issues can find positive resolution when all parties are actively involved. When this occurs, everyone wins.
I still wonder about my experience at the airport frozen yogurt stand. Was that solution something that came from the company, or did the employee just decide that was the best way to go under those circumstances? Either way, in this case, my wife and I definitely came out ahead at the cost of the company. Looking at the big picture, my experience on this trip has absolutely caused me to plan future frozen yogurt stops when I travel through that airport again, giving me the chance to pay them back and make it a win-win situation.Next Article