Recently I purchased at new HP laptop that was set up to run the Windows 10 operating system. As can sometimes happen with technology, in spite of my best efforts to link my iPhone with my Windows based laptop, my calendar and contacts were not synching properly. As my kids are fond of saying, that's a
"Dad, that's a first world problem!"
To remedy the issue, I reached out to both Microsoft and Apple. Both organizations were helpful and as a result it was determined that I would be best served by Apple's technical support team to get my problem resolved. Quickly I progressed through Apple's Tier I support group and found my way to a senior consultant from the Tier II group... Alma from Apple.
What ensued over the next several months as Alma tried to resolve my issue was one of the most impressive, memorable customer services experiences I've ever encountered.
While I've always had a good experience in working with Apple (and Microsoft) the time I spent with Alma blew me away. Her follow up was always when she said it would be. Alma would schedule an appointment and call me at the assigned time, if not earlier. She was always professional and courteous, even when I got frustrated with how long it was taking to resolve my issue. Alma knew what she was doing and when she couldn't figure out an issue or was stumped, she told me so, researched the issue, and got back to me with the answer in a timely fashion.
It took the better part of four months to fully resolve my issue (which ended up being the result of an incomplete installation of the Microsoft Office software that came on my computer).
Even on our last call Alma was looking for ways to add value by sending me articles she found on the web about merging several of my contact data bases...one of the next projects on my agenda.
As we concluded our final meeting I made sure Alma knew how appreciative I was of all the effort that she had expended on my behalf and I asked her how I could let her superiors know what a fine job she had done. Her response was simply that she had enjoyed working with me and that while she never knew which clients would receive a survey asking for their evaluation of her performance, she was most appreciative of my comments and just glad that she had been able to help me resolve my issue.
Needless to say, Alma is the Apple organization to me. I never met Steve Jobs and it's unlikely that I'll ever have contact with Tim Cook, but as far as I'm concerned those gentlemen and their organization have the best ambassador a firm could ever hope for in Alma from Apple.
My experience with Alma reminded me of the basic principles behind delivering exceptional client service.
* FOLLOW UP...do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it...if not sooner. * Always BE PROFESSIONAL AND COURTEOUS, even in the face of the client's frustration. * Be the SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT in your chosen field. * ADMIT IT WHEN YOU DON'T KNOW OR YOU DON'T HAVE THE ANSWER...and then commit to finding the answer and FOLLOWING UP (see first bullet point above) * GO ABOVE AND BEYOND the client's expectation by always looking for ways to ADD VALUE.