Customer Service and the Carpenter

Posted on 01/01/2008 in Customer Service & Support

"Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends."

 -Walt Disney

This month’s newsletter continues the series on providing exceptional customer service and support.  I often conclude the teaching of our "Exceptional Customer Service” workshop with this real-life story, and would like to feature it for this month’s newsletter. 

When I was a young boy, I spent many afternoons after school at my grandfather’s carpentry shop. He never had a formal education but was a highly skilled tradesman. His finished work and services, such as handcrafted furniture and home improvement projects, were much in demand. He never advertised but was the beneficiary of word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers. 

In retrospect, it was fascinating to see how he interacted with customers. He always thanked customers for their business, both initially when an order was placed and also when the furniture or project was completed. Whenever possible, he gave each customer more than he or she had requested. I recall him building a beautiful bookshelf and using some of the leftover scrap wood to make some bookends for the same customer. Because the wood was of the identical type and grain, the bookends matched perfectly with the bookshelf. 

Now that I am older, I spend much time advising and teaching clients about subjects such as how to provide exceptional customer service. If you’ve had the opportunity to read the prior two STAR newsletters, we have highlighted several points such as: 

Are you wowing your customers? Customers who receive a superior product or service will recommend your organization to others, just as my grandfather benefited from word of mouth referrals.

 Are you treating your customers with respect? It can be as simple as a thank you. 

Are you exceeding your customer’s expectations? It doesn’t necessarily have to cost you a lot to give a customer more than he or she expected, such as the bookends mentioned above. 

In closing, if you want to provide exceptional customer service, learn from the carpenter. I know that I did. 

STAR’s Customer Service and Support workshop teaches the skills and concepts addressed in this newsletter.  This workshop helps our clients build and sustain a customer service culture throughout their organization.