I’ve categorized this post under “branding” as I feel strongly that customer service is the best way to build brand loyalty.
Today I received a brand new—free—Griffin Navigate (remote control/FM receiver) for my iPhone! Three business days ago I logged on to the Griffin website and started a Live Chat with a customer service rep. It had been a couple years since I bought the Navigate and I only paid about $50 so I didn’t really have high hopes but figured I’d give it a shot. Here’s how it went:
Russell: [15:58] Welcome to our real-time support chat. How can I help you today?
Steve: [15:58] I have a Navigate. Had it for quite awhile but it only worked for a few weeks. Then I just forgot to do anything about it. Found it in a drawer yesterday and would love to exchange it for one that works.
Russell: [15:59] Sorry to hear it isn’t working! What seems to be the problem with it?
Steve: [15:59] No sign of life.
Russell: [16:00] Got it. Was that after any iOS update, or did it just seem to randomly stop working?
Steve: [16:00] Just stopped working.
Russell: [16:01] That’s too bad. Where and (approximately) when did you purchase it?
Steve: [16:02] Best Buy in Fairfax, VA. A couple years ago.
Russell: [16:03] The product only has a one-year warranty, but you said it stopped working after just a few weeks?
Steve: [16:03] Was such a cool device while it worked. Yeah—I used it for a few weeks, then it was dead.
Russell: [16:04] I understand. Typically we can’t exchange it after about a year (maybe 15 months), but since it only worked for a few weeks, I’ll make an exception and do a one-time replacement for you.
I was impressed. The chat continues . . .
Russell: [16:09] I’ve created what we call a “photo return” for you.
Steve: [16:10] haha I love it!
Russell: [16:10] You’ll receive detailed instructions by email shortly, but basically, we’ll ask you to destroy the Navigate (cutting the cord is the simplest way to destroy it), take a photo, and reply back to that email with the photo.
Steve: [16:11] Seems horrible. But fair enough.
Russell: [16:12] Yeah, it seems pretty strange, but it’s basically an accounting measure for our records. Normally we have defective products sent back to us, but in certain situations, we can do the photo return instead.
Steve: [16:13] I might use an axe. Would that be over-the-top?
Russell: [16:13] Haha, as long as you’re safe, that’s fine by us! We’ve had some pretty creative photos/destruction methods.
Steve: [16:14] So, I just snip the wire, take a photo, and send it back as an attachment in a reply email?
Russell: [16:15] That will work fine!
Steve: [16:16] Awesome. So glad I decided to pursue this. Thanks very much.
Russell: [16:16] No problem! Let me know if you have any questions, and if not, have a great weekend!
Customer service like this is motivating. I’ll use this as my new personal/business model for delivering satisfaction to my own clients!