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Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

A recent blog post by HelpScout gives great examples on delivering excellent email customer service that goes above the average.

Consider this example shared with me by Michael O’Neal, a longtime Timex owner.

While biking a while back, Mike had the unfortunate experience of being in a hit-and-run accident, in which he broke a collarbone. A sour situation only made worse by the fact that his beloved Timex was also smashed in the process. Not looking for sympathy, but rather a solution, Mike emailed Timex customer support to find out how he could get the watch fixed, and how much it would cost.

It seems they’ve won a customer for life in Mike, and hopefully they’ve served as an inspiration for all businesses to understand how to handle out of the ordinary circumstances like this over email.

Zappos is a company well known for insanely good (and literally record breaking) customer service, but can the magic really last over a channel like email?

The Zappos team apparently answers with a resounding, “Yes!” and in what is perhaps one of the most notorious customer service screenshots of all time (originally shared on Reddit), a Zappos support rep named Paul responds to a customer’s unfortunate dilemma with a pair of ragged shoes order from the service.

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

This email serves as one of the very best examples of support via email that you’ll ever see, and that is because Paul paints a very clear picture of why customer service over email doesn’t have to be boring, bland, or lacking in personality. Paul’s style may not work for every support rep, but his enthusiasm for getting customers excited about even a simple email is something everyone in the support space should aspire too. Three cheers for Paul and the Zappos team for crafting for a customer what is undoubtedly one of the most creative customer service emails of all time.

The gaming software known as Steam allows users to play purchased computer games via an account, with no need for a CD. Unfortunately, this can create a conflict when different versions are released through platforms like Amazon.

That’s the problem Eduardo ran into when he purchased a game from Amazon and couldn’t get it to work on Steam. He decided to email Frozenbyte, the creator of the game, to see what could be done.

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

This is a classic case of not letting red tape get in the way of a paying customer’s satisfaction. With a single email, Joel from the Frozenbyte support team made things right for Eduardo by giving him a “Steam key” (to activate the game) for free. He let this customer know that Frozenbyte is the type of company that plays fair with customers and cares more about selling to people who love their products than ringing each customer for all they’re worth.

As a new customer, George was distraught to find that his Odessey putter (a brand owned by Callaway) had begun to lose its grip. The model that he owned was discontinued, so he contacted Callaway’s customer service to see where he could buy a new grip, saying that he would be “willing to pay a fair amount” since he was especially fond of the putter and didn’t want to give it up.

A Callaway customer service rep named Sean received George’s email and said that all he needed was George’s address so that he could send him a new grip⎯free of charge.

 

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

Less than two days later, the brand new grip for a discontinued putter was at his doorstep!

Have you ever come across something that you would just love to buy, but the business is located a good distance away and shipping costs make the purchase unfeasible?

That’s what Reddit user Douggy D. ran into when he tried to order a sweatshirt from Archival Clothing. As a UK resident, Doug wasn’t able to get the lower prices that Archival normally ships for since the company is based in United States. Someone from Archival saw that he had added the sweatshirt to the site’s “Shopping Cart” but never checked out. They also saw how high his shipping costs were and figured that was the culprit.

They immediately followed up with Doug in an attempt find some creative ways that they could ship the order to him for less:

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

It’s a perfect example of why it’s not the medium that matters when communicating with customers; it’s your ability and willingness to know what they need.

…. What a pain it is to handle physical item exchanges—both ways.

Not only is the process a burden for customers who just want the correct item, but it can also be a hassle for businesses as well. Racking up extra fees just to ship back a t-shirt, for example, makes little sense for both parties.

Corey, the recipient [secret Santa gift], reached out to Powerup Apparel’s customer service, looking to see if he could exchange his large shirt for an extra large.

Knowing that the process would be an annoyance to Corey and add a needless expense to the business, Chris P. decided to send out a brand new shirt, and he simply asked Corey if he could pass the other one on to someone who may enjoy it:

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

It’s a great example of why there is a legitimate business case for taking care of customers.

Some companies try to take advantage of “spur of the moment” purchases by having rigid return dates and requirements for customers to justify why they’re returning the product.

Blizzard Entertainment, a game developer, sees things differently.

When a recent customer of theirs told the support team that they got caught up in the hype of a new Blizzard release, you would expect most companies to respond with, “That’s too bad, but that isn’t a valid reason for a return.”

Blizzard support, however, told the customer that they understood the predicament—we all make purchases that end up being not a fit for us, and the Blizzard team decided that they’d rather have a customer walk away happy with a refund than disappointed with how they spent their money with the company:

Delivering Excellent Customer Service via Email

Kudos to for Blizzard doing the right thing.

You can find the complete post at: https://www.helpscout.net/blog/excellent-customer-service/

 

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