When my father was 70, the family had a celebration at Clivedon House in Maidenhead. It’s a big country pile famous for being home to the Astors in the 20s and having the swimming pool that played a part in the Profumo affair in the 60s.
My daughter was 12 at the time and was mightily impressed by all the finery. She’d probably never experienced silver service before. At one stage she told my mother that it all “makes you feel rich”.
She wasn’t wrong.
On a more day to day level, when you think of great customer service, what brands come to mind?
I’ve no doubt you could name quite a few but John Lewis would be pretty high on the list.
It was a nice summer’s day yesterday and I took the afternoon off.
I know, an afternoon off, in the week. What a rebel.
I’m getting a swanky new office chair for a considerable investment and I wanted to try it out.
We got to the home office section and I found the chair. It’s supremely comfortable even without being adjusted to me. I must have sat on it for 20 minutes, phone and brochure in hand. It was pretty obvious I was in buying mode.
No-one came, on two occasions we were actively ignored by people that obviously worked on other sections.
Not what you’d expect from John Lewis.
But Jan wanted to look at Fitbits, demonstrations and detailed explanations even though we said we weren’t buying.
Full sales pitch from the man from Dyson. His product was good but he tried so hard not to look pissed off when we said, again, we weren’t buying.
The thing is, Jan works in an environment where a mystery shopper could turn up at any time. A bad review affects the entire team’s bonus. You never know who you are dealing with.
We decided to give the office people one more chance. Simply because we were surprised first time round. This time, things were different. Although I knew more about the chair than the man in the shop (I’ve been looking at Herman Miller Aerons for a number of years), the one chair they have in stock is now reserved.
Yesterday’s quote still applies.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Always be aware of people in buying mode, you never know when a mystery shopper might turn up.