I recently read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book ‘Crush It’ and there is a specific customer satisfaction story that makes a very strong statement.
First here’s some relevant background:
‘Crush It!’ is a book about how to take your passion and, how to use the power of internet marketing techniques to spread your passion and even monetize it. Gary talks about many of the new techniques used in marketing on the web and how they differ from old techniques and why this is a special opportunity in time to take advantage of that change.
The Person: Gary Vaynerchuk
In case you don’t know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, he is considered a wine expert. He took his parents’ modest liquor store to a multi million dollar Wine Business using internet marketing techniques, particularly video. Gary has been called “the first wine guru of the YouTube era”. Gary has a Blog called Wine Libarary TV where he reviews wines in video podcasts in a very entertaining and memorable way.
The Customer Satisfaction Story
The story I found so relevant from Gary’s book comes from the section where he talks about the importance of customer service in the retail industry.
One Christmas, one of his customers complained that she had not received the case of wine she had ordered and there was no way a courier like Fed Ex was going to be able to deliver the case to her in time. Gary’s customer service department had received the complaint but because this wasn’t a big or repeat customer, they had not brought it to his attention until very late. Upon hearing of the situation, Gary took a case of wine, put it in his car and personally drove 3 hours in a snowstorm to deliver the wine to the woman’s house.
Gary comments on the fact that this was the busiest time of the year, that his time was extremely valuable, and that he probably lost money by not being present in the store for 6 hours that he was away. (3 hours to drive to the customer and 3 hours to drive back). What was his rationale for this activity? He wanted to make a point to his employees. He was creating culture within his organization. He personally set the standard that for others to follow. And while he may have lost money for that individual transaction and that Christmas season by his activity, he felt that he had put the culture in place with his staff that would make him even more money in the future. He shows how seriously he takes customer service and customer satisfaction. In the long run, he believed this action would serve his company well.
Customer service visibility is the one of the key changes in the way business is done on the Web. I personally have been reading many books on how internet marketing is being done because it is changing our customer satisfaction world. There are many stories on my blog of how our customer satisfaction world is being impacted.
One thing that hasn’t changed with new internet marketing techniques is senior management commitment. If you don’t have it, it is really hard to improve customer satisfaction in any meaningful way.