I had the most incredible, eye-opening experience last weekend!
It didn’t involve a spiritual awakening, or a winning lottery ticket, or even a roller coaster ride.
It kind of involved a monkey – and a computer glitch – with a little dose of panic thrown in for fun.
If you’re a fan of my Facebook page (go “Like” it now if you’re not!), then you know I’m gearing up to launch my first official service on Brave New Biz, and I’m super excited! I’ve just finished my “beta testing” process in order to gather feedback from users and make it the best offering I can.
I’m thrilled to report their feedback has been FANTASTIC (not to toot my own horn, but…TOOOOT!!!!).
I captured their comments with a survey I built using SurveyMonkey, a fantastic service that allows you to easily gather input from your clients, prospects, vendors, or anyone else.
I logged into my account last Saturday morning to check on my survey responses, when (dun-dun-DUUUUNNNNN!!!!!!!) I saw that my survey was MISSING.
Panic at my Desk, Yo
At first, I just sat there at my desk, dumbfounded, repeatedly refreshing the screen, waiting for my survey to appear.
I won’t keep you in suspense – this did not work.
Then I looked through all the tabs and menus, I logged back out and logged back in again. Nothing.
Next, I had a brainstorm – I have a lot of email addresses, so maybe I’d created another account, long ago, and accidentally used that one! Yes! I figured out my other account info and logged in, only to find – NOTHING. OMG – it wasn’t there, either!!
Now, I’m not one to panic easily, but I’ll admit that I had to take a few deep breaths here. My beta testing group isn’t HUGE, but I had several survey responses from my testers already in, and there was no way I wanted to go back to them and say that I’d somehow messed things up and needed them to provide their feedback all over again. That’s not the kind of image I’m interested in projecting, even during a testing phase when I’m still working out all the kinks.
Out of desperation, I shot a distraught message to SurveyMonkey’s support email address, assuming I wouldn’t hear back until Monday, and figuring I’d spend the rest of the weekend praying to the internet gods to restore my data.
My New BFF…Ricardo the Rock Star
My first surprise of the morning – well, my first GOOD surprise – was an auto-response email saying that someone would be getting back to me that very day. I was relieved to learn that they had representatives working on a Saturday, but the message also said that response times could be longer on weekends, so I wasn’t holding my breath on hearing back from a real person any time soon.
My next surprise was receiving that real-person response a few minutes later. I mean, LITERALLY minutes later – it was a total of FIVE minutes after I’d sent my initial email to them.
Can you believe that?!
Ricardo from Support assured me that my survey was still alive, asked me a few questions, and helped me resolve my issues and gain access to my survey once again. (I had actually created a total of THREE accounts…oops!) He was genuinely friendly, polite, and helpful, and he knew what he was doing (rare in the customer service world these days). In short, he was a total rock-star service rep.
In less than an hour from when I’d discovered the problem, I was back on track – and keep in mind, this was on a Saturday morning. And lest you think I’m on one of their fancy paid plans, I’m not – I use their free, completely unpaid service.
And I still received the best care I’ve gotten from a customer service department in years.
So you know what I did next?
I took to Twitter and Facebook and praised SurveyMonkey and Ricardo to the high heavens, sharing (a much briefer version of) my story, and telling everyone in my digital world how ecstatic I was with SurveyMonkey.
And here’s the kicker: the next time I run a survey, I’m going to need more robust functionality, and you know what? I honestly can’t wait to sign up for one of their paid plans. Yep – I’m on a free plan now and I’m literally LOOKING FORWARD to giving them my money!
What Would Ricardo Do?
So how you can replicate this experience with your prospects and clients, even if you’re a solopreneur without a customer service department?
How can you serve people in such a way that they come running to you, singing your praises and ready to throw fistfuls of cash your way?
Simple. Be your own Ricardo, and do what he would do.
- Treat people well.
- Exceed their expectations.
- Act with kindness and respect.
- Reply to questions promptly.
- And above all else, treat your customers – even the unpaid ones – like GOLD.
You do these things, and you’ll have loyal customers for life.
What about you? Have you had an exceptional customer service experience that turned you into a loyal customer for life? Or have you had the opposite – a terrible customer service experience that made you break up with a brand forever? Share in the comments below!