client retention

If it ain’t broke…

I recently got a new pair of black Kendra Scott earrings. Woot!

As I walked into the house with my newly acquired prize, a pack of fire-breathing dragons swept by, knocking the new earrings across the room and onto our tile floor and into three pieces.

By fire-breathing dragons, I mean two young children.

By two young children, I mean me.

Actually, my kids were there, and they may have knocked into me (like they always do), but I dropped them. Sad day.

After a few months of mourning the loss, and hanging onto my new three earrings even though I have only two ears, I decided to drop by the Kendra Scott store just to see what they’d say.

I fully imagined the conversation going something like this:

Me: Hi. I, er, my kids dropped my brand new earrings – never worn before. See – there’s no ear funk on them yet. They’re untouched.

Shop girl: (rolls eyes) That sucks. Maybe you should grow another ear. And who has ear funk? Really?

Me: (defeated, puts head down) OK. Thanks a lot.

So I gathered my three earring pieces and headed in, full of low expectations… on Christmas Eve. Because there’s no better time than to take something back to a store. I used to work retail. I know better than to do this. But I did.

When my husband and I pulled up to the store, it looked a little something like this:

long line photo

Yikes! Not what I hoped for, and yet exactly what I expected.

I grabbed my earring pieces and took my place at the back of the line.

Within a minute, Shop Girl came out with a big Kendra Scott bag full of bottled water and cookies looking chippier than ever.

Editors Note: Is “chippier” even a word? I should look that up later before I publish this.

She saw the somewhat pained look on my face and asked what was up. After I told her about my debacle, she took my earrings and headed into the store. Almost as soon as she was gone, she reappeared WITH A NEW PAIR. No questions asked. No fire-breathing dragons to be blamed.

There are a few places that get customer service right – Nordstrom consistently comes to mind. They understand their customer, how they shop, and they make it easy to do just that. Today, Kendra Scott has been added to my list of best in class. From the cookies to the water to the no problem exchange, they nailed it.

There are a few things that stuck out here:

  1. Identify and anticipate needs: They new everyone would be stressed (it was Christmas Eve just a few hours before stores closed), and knew people hated standing in line. Before anyone had a chance to complain, they found a way to keep us entertained.
  2. Listening: Of course, Shop Girl’s listening was more like looking at the earrings while I made a sad face and said, “They were broken before I got wear them.” But she got it, and responded immediately.
  3. Surprise: I fully expected to pay for another earring, or pay to have it fixed. But they surprised me, and won a long-term customer for it.

Tell me your great customer service story.

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