Get the party started! October 3 marks the beginning of National Customer Service Week, an annual event sponsored, since 1991, by the Customer Service Group. This special week is designed to encourage companies in all industries to reward their very best customer service reps by launching celebrations that shine a spotlight on best practices. The National Customer Service Week web site offers plenty of insights, information, resources, and inspiration for companies who want to learn more about making the week-long, once-a-year observance a company tradition. Check it out.
My own nominee for a company that makes each and every week Customer Service Week would have to be the national electronics and appliance chain hhgregg, which invests in at least 200 hours a year of individual product training time for all its front-line customer representatives. Their major competitors don’t make anything like that kind of commitment to the customer. We actually launched a commercial thanking Sears and Home Depot for offering to match hhgregg’s low prices … and then asking why they couldn’t also promise to match hhgregg’s great service to the customer! Click here to view Spot
“Help” is the word to remember here, the word that this company is all about. You will hear the Beatles song of the same name in all our commercials. Long before we took them on as a client, hhgregg was devoted to helping customers, to making sure that they didn’t feel abandoned when they walked into a store. If you’ve ever been to one of those other appliance stores and tried to find someone you could have an intelligent conversation with about the differences between two washing machines, you know what I mean by “abandoned.” Sometimes you really can feel like you’ve been marooned on a desert island at one of those “big box” stores — but not when you go to hhgregg. You don’t have to look around for half an hour to find someone who can help you — and guess what? Because of all the product training, the person you talk to actually knows all about the washers on the floor: which one is most energy-efficient, which one uses the least water, which one offers the most washing cycles, and so on.
To top it all off, the prices consumers find a hhgregg are indeed extremely competitive, which is what got Sears and Home Depot worried. It’s just a great buying experience and a great brand. The chain is expanding, and this is at a time when the housing market, which drives major appliance purchases, is being clobbered. The way I see it, hhgregg’s success is rooted in a very simple principle: Offer great service and competitive pricing in a sector where customers are used to being treated badly. By following that philosophy, hhgregg has emerged as a true customer service hero.
As we enter National Customer Service Week, I want to ask you:
What company is your hero when it comes to customer service — and why?