Since I am often involved in helping my customers improve their business processes and their customers’ experience, I’m always on the lookout for examples of good and bad customer service in any industry. I deal with a lot of suppliers for business and personal items, mostly online, and rarely does one jump up and surprise me with their fabulous customer service. Recently, however, ClearlyContacts.ca has done just that.
Buying contact lenses online in Canada is a relatively new phenomenon, unless you order from the US and pay extra for shipping, duties and border clearance. When I lived in California, I ordered from 1800Contacts.com, so I recently decided to take my optometrist’s prescription in hand and order from them again, border crossing be damned. I went to the 1800Contacts site…only to find that they don’t carry my type of lens any more. Damn. I googled around and found another site, CoastalContacts.com, that did carry them; I filled my online shopping cart and was ready to check out when I saw that icon at the top of the screen, filling my heart with joy: the letters “CA” in a circle, right beside other circles: “US”, “UK”, “EUR” and “AU”. I clicked on the CA icon in trepidation, expecting it all to be some sort of dream, and was redirected to ClearlyContacts.ca, which appears to be Coastal Contacts’ Canadian-based shipping point.
I ordered on Thursday, but when I tried to check the order on their website the next day, I got Java/SQL barf all over the screen. To give them credit, the barf screen included a mailto: link to the site administrator, so I clicked and complained. Within a couple of hours, I had a response that explained that they were having trouble with the site, but that my lenses had shipped that day and gave me a Canada Post package tracking number. The email included a great tagline in the signature block:
Passionately committed to making every experience with Coastal Contacts positive and highly satisfying. For everyone. Every time.
The lenses arrived on Monday afternoon, all the way from Vancouver, days before I expected them. The best part? On the side of the ClearlyContacts packing box was printed a motto to live by:
Dance, Sing, Floss and Travel
The fact that they serviced my order correctly and efficiently may be considered a given (although this was a new supplier for me so not pre-supposed), but there’s some great customer service lessons to be learned from this:
- If one of your customer interface channels has problems, be able to respond to the issues via another channel. This requires proper integration of information and processes behind the scenes.
- In today’s market, it’s not enough to be committed to servicing your customers’ needs, you have to let them know that you’re passionate about it. That requires, of course, that you are passionate about it.
- Once you’re absolutely sure that you’ve served your customer well, leave them with a smile on their face.