When an Opportunity Arises, Can You Deliver?

Last week I bought a new dining set for my home in the mountains. Because I’m not there often, I didn’t schedule a delivery date. I wasn’t sure when I was going to be up there to take delivery. The salesman told me that wasn’t a problem and to just call at least two days in advance to schedule the delivery. Well, I’m going this weekend, so I called them on Wed. (yesterday) and tried to schedule the delivery for Saturday. The young lady on the other end of the phone schedules the delivery, but then informs me one of the items, the bench seat, is not in stock and she’s not sure if they will have one in time to make the delivery truck.

I’m pissed. I bought and paid for the dining set 12 days ago. No one told me they weren’t in stock. I don’t go up to the mountains that often this time of year, so I’m not sure when I will be up there again to deliver the rest of the set. And yes, I want it by Thanksgiving.

After explaining to the young woman on the phone and expressing my frustration, she informed me that deliveries being shipped to Vail came out of the their Thorton store and that they had the shortage, but if I wanted to come to their Westminster Store, they had a bench in stock and I could carry it out.

Hmmm? ┬áHere’s where it gets interesting. The Westminster store and the Thorton store are about 6.9 miles apart. Excited, I ask if they can have someone take the bench to the Thorton store between now and Friday before the truck leaves for Vail. She says she doesn’t know. She can’t guarantee it.

American Family Warehouse is staring at a killer customer service opportunity. The question is, are they going to step up? They suggested I could come get the bench. So, therefore the question they now have to ask is, do they think their time is more valuable than a customers time (my time). I live 16 miles from the store that has the bench. Then, I have to make sure it will fit with my kids in the car, as they are coming with me to the mountains. The other option, between now and Friday, American Furniture Warehouse could have someone drive it the 6.9 miles, from the Westminster store to the Thornton Store thereby ensuring my entire order is delivered on Sat.

When it comes to customers service the best opportunities to shine are served up in times of crisis, when things aren’t going like they are supposed to. The best, those truly dedicated to delivering world class customer service, have a keen eye for these opportunities and jump all over them. They recognize, the best opportunities to shine can’t be scripted. It’s all improv. They key is recognizing the opportunities when they present themselves.

Can your organization see killer customer service opportunities? And, even more important, can they deliver?

I’ll let you know if American Furniture “delivers” or if they just deliver.