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How well do you keep your customer promises?

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The old adage ’always deliver on your promises to customers’ has never been more relevant than in today’s competitive market place.  Being true to your word and delivering on what you have agreed, can reward your business with a lifetime of repeat business and create advocates of your customers, something that all the marketing dollars in the world can’t buy.  A great experience with an online retailer really brought home the difference that delivering on promises can make.

My microwave recently had a quick and unceremonious death. One minute it was working, the next it had stopped. For our family, whilst we don’t use it for cooking, it is used multiple times daily for reheating, so the thought of being without it for any length of time was too much to bear.

I do not like shopping for appliances. It’s usually a tedious and drawn out process that leaves me frustrated and sometimes with buyers’ remorse.  I didn’t have the time or energy for this, but remembered a friend had told me about their exceptionally positive experience of purchasing from an online retailer called ‘Appliances on Line’ so I thought I’d try it for myself.

Knowing the model and type of microwave I was after clicked onto the site, to find that they had the model in stock. The website had an extensive array of brands which enabled me to do some comparisons, validating my choice of appliance. I noticed too that all appliances purchased came with free delivery! I reviewed the price and then called a ‘bricks and mortar’ retailer – Appliances on Line’s offer was $20 cheaper and no need for me to leave my house!

I found the website very intuitive and with a comprehensive range of payment options. The best part came when I was offered the option of having the ‘dead’ microwave removed free of charge – no trip to the refuse station for me! I completed my order, requesting delivery for the morning slot two days hence. I paid for the microwave and logged off.

Within 20 minutes of logging off I received a phone call from the company. They thanked me for the order and confirmed that they would be delivering the microwave on the requested day in the morning within a delivery window of 2 hours, between 9am – 11am. They asked if that was convenient, and I requested a move to 7am-9am.  This was not an issue for them, and I was advised that the delivery driver would call me 20 minutes before arriving and that I was to have the ‘dead’ microwave ready to be taken away.

My service experience had grown exponentially. Not only had they received my order online, they had called to confirm the delivery time and date within 20 minutes of receiving the order. I looked forward eagerly to delivery. Would they keep their promise or was this too good to be true?

The morning arrived and at 7:20am my mobile phone rang. It was John the delivery driver. He advised that he would be there within 20 minutes to deliver the microwave and remove the old appliance. True to his word he arrived 15 minutes later, very well presented with my microwave in his arms. He carried it into the kitchen and offered to unpack it for me. He then removed the ‘dead’ microwave and took away the packaging materials from the new one. Wow … I was blown away! They had delivered on all of their promises! They did what they said they would do.

This normally tedious chore had turned into an exceptional customer experience for me. The service was intuitive, timely and professional, and the usual hassles of buying appliances had been removed. The goodwill they created from this experience has led me to advocate for their brand. I’ve told everyone who’ll listen about my experience.

The seemingly forgotten art of keeping your promises to your customers is a powerful one that will set your business apart. Not only will you surprise and delight your customers, you will create long-term goodwill that leads to repeat business and referrals.  How would your customers describe your ability to keep your promises?

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On June 14, 2013
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