Honesty Really Is The Best Policy

I realized I hadn’t actually written about any customer service stories here in quite some time.  A lot of “other thoughts”.  But no good stories.  I got a good one.

As preface, I wrote a post a while back about one of my favorite subjects.  Maybe not favorite, but one of those feel good tag lines that makes my head explode.  “The customer is aways right”.  Without going into a rant about why that drives me nuts, because that’s not the point of this post, let me just ask you this.  If your spouse, boss, friends, relatives, (fill in the blank) were always viewed as “right” regardless of their behavior, how would that make you feel?  Enough said.

Back to the story.

I first became aware of my friend and colleague’s panache for dropping his iPhone from a Facebook update he threw up a couple of weeks ago.  We traded comments where I learned he’s not only dropped his phone about a thousand times, but he’s not eligible for an upgrade for a while.  And with the new iPhone 5 coming out, it was just poor timing for the touch screen to finally throw up the white flag.

Oh yea, he showed me the screen.  It was not pretty.  And did I happen to mention that this guy is the biggest raving Apple fan I’ve ever met?  To the core!  Perhaps that information might have been helpful to guy at the first Apple Store my friend entered who told him to cough up $200 for a new phone.

Never one to accept the first answer he gets on any topic, my friend went to store number two.  He told the Apple rep the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  He’s a klutz.  He drops his phone all the time.  And, he understands the product can only take so much abuse before crapping out.

For his honesty, the Apple rep thanked him for not trying to snow him and gave him a new phone on the spot – free.

So, there really are two morals to this story.

First, as I wrote this, it occured to me that Apple might need to keep a bit closer eye on its brick and mortar stores.  I’m a huge fan.  But, I’ve heard now a couple of stories of inconsistent customer experiences.  Designing a multi-channel experience is one thing.  Consistently delivering that experience, especially when you throw the store front thing into the mix, requires diligent attention, monitoring and tweeking.

Second, if you expect to always be right as a customer.  How about always being a stand up individual as well?  You get what you give.  My table neighbors at Applebees could stand to learn this lesson.

Comments

  1. How true you are – honesty is always best. My wife had a similar experience after her water bottle leaked all over her phone in her gym bag. Suffice to say it was RS. She is a huge Apple fan, perhaps obsessive, and entered an Apple store, told the truth and got another phone for free. She was happy to pay, but fortunately didn't have to.

    I agree with you about providing that consistent experience. I believe this is just about the crux of customer service, but as companies get bigger it becomes harder and harder to do. We as customers soon forget all the good experiences when we encounter the crappy ones. Maybe that's not fair, but that's the reality!

    Great post!

  2. nice post dude I agree indeed so its you already.. have a nice day and good luck

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