Epic Customer Service or Epic Fail?

This morning, our office celebrated because I received an email from a customer absolutely GUSHING about the service she received from one of our staff members. I had a chance to read the email aloud to the rest of the staff and we all smiled and laughed about it. It was  a great moment, and another chance to affirm the kind of customer service culture our office is known for.

Then I read Seth Godin (that guy always bursts my bubble!). I got this sinking feeling in my stomach and looked back at the email. Sure enough, there it was. All the signs of failure jumped out at me.

The email was sent because a client of the university had experienced extreme frustration while dealing with an incompetent staff member (in another department) who said, “I don’t know what you can do.” The client was left to solve the problem on her own. That was an epic fail.

The client was resourceful (as most of them are), and remembered a helpful person in our office. She quickly phoned and got connected to Sheila who promptly solved the problem and did it in the most customer friendly way possible. The client was elated enough to send us a lengthy email expressing her delight. That was a win – turning a frown upside down.

But it came as a result of a major fail and while I still say we should celebrate the win, we’d better not overlook the fail or assume that the win overcame the fail.

Nope. The fail is still there. Staring me in the face. Thanks a lot Seth Godin!

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2 thoughts on “Epic Customer Service or Epic Fail?

    1. Yeah, no kidding. Godin’s article did highlight a few other kinds of fails we need to watch for too. For example, if our phone starts ringing or we get a hundred emails, or there’s a line-up for something. Those are all key indicators of our service.

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