Did you hear about the mess-up at the Zappos site 6pm.com over the weekend? EVERYTHING in the online store was accidentally marked as $49.95… A ton of orders, amounting to a loss of 1.6 million dollars were placed before the error was detected. What did the company do to recover their lost money? Well believe it or not, nothing at all… They honored the $49.95 price, regardless of the loss.
I would have to say, this probably built some serious customer loyalty! Imagine had they gone the other way and adjusted the billing to charge the customers the correct price, after they had already been told it was $49.95 and got billed the actual $75 dollar price for instance. That would have gone over like a lead balloon – MOST people would have understood, but some would be seriously upset and feel ripped off, never buying from 6pm.com again.
At Homeland Secure IT, we hope to provide the same kind of customer experience. When we quote servers, network cameras, etc, should we underestimate the time required to complete the job, we “eat it”… On at least two installs recently, we went over by many hours, and the clients were never charged an additional dime. In the two instances I am thinking of, we could have charged the client, they would have understood, but that was not the original deal. We offered them a turn-key solution, and that is what we provided. Total customer satisfaction is what we demand of ourselves!
We often give away labor… We will get a phone call and provide an instant solution to a client that gets them operational, instead of sending out a technician, and many times, we will not charge for the assistance. Another common occurrence is when a tech is on location and takes a little over an hour to fix the problem and instead of writing the ticket for an hour and a half, the technician will make the determination that the client deserves a break and writes it for an hour.
Our philosophy is this: If there is a question about how much to give – give a little more. Sure, you can make more money by recouping losses, but will you win clients? Maybe. Chances are good you would not lose a client, but giving a little more might mean the client will not hesitate to call you again, even for a small problem they might not ordinarily call about, simply because they got a fair deal!
My tip of the day: If you want a great customer experience, select a great provider! If you are a business owner and you want great clients, provide that great experience!