By Speakap content creator Jozy Gallmann.
I know, I know. Ordering clothes from H&M should be banned. All this clothing production is not good for our planet and especially not for the people in Bangladesh who make the clothes - although opinions about it are more divided than you might think. But H&M does sell nice items and, when last month's salary hit my bank account, I couldn't resist the temptation.
Three clicks later...
The ordering process is outrageously simple - compliments to the UX team! - which also makes it very bad for the wallet. Three clicks later, I had filled my online shopping cart to bursting point and, after two more clicks, my order was on its way. Later that week, I was happily wearing some new trousers: a wide model of soft pink-coloured fabric. Perfect for spring!
But jump forward another two weeks and the fun was over: I had washed my trousers (exactly according to the guidance on the label!), pulled them on and suddenly they were up around my ankles. Not a great look for a 5ft9 girl! So, time to call H&M customer service.
Conversations with Dini
Even though I called at 8:55 pm and she must have been just about to clock off (H&M Customer Service is open til 9pm), Dini answered in a friendly tone. Come to think of it, I'm not 100% sure if she actually was called Dini, but I think that name fits her well so I'm going with it. I imagine a lady of 50, in a cozy flower dress and maybe a cigarette perched in the ashtray next to the phone on her desk. Probably not.
I explained to Dini the problem, emphasising how disappointed I was. She sounded understanding while she looked my order up in the system. "Do you mean the pink trousers?" she asked. "What a shame, such a nice little model!"
I smiled, even though I knew that Dini had no idea how those trousers looked on me. Just as I had no idea if she was wearing that imagined flower dress. "I will explain to you step-by-step how you can send the trousers back," said Dini, then she proceeded to calmly do exactly that.
"Do you mean the pink pants?" she asked. "What a shame, such a nice little model!"
No cliches or platitudes
I enjoyed the fact that she talked to me so calmly and friendlily, as if we were having a pleasant conversation at the hairdresser. There were no standard platitudes, no uninterested undertone, and no sense of being rushed through towards the end of the telephone conversation. "Just normal, friendly service," as my father would describe it.
After I knew exactly what I needed to do to return the trousers, Dini emphasised that I should keep the shipping slip somewhere safe, in case something went wrong with the refund. "Really do it!" she said again. "Well dear, then I hope you buy yourself something lovely with the refunded money," she said finally. I thanked her and hung up with a smile.
Read all about Customer Experience.
What Customer Service staff can learn from Dini:
Be friendly and patient with your customers. Even if they arrive or call just before closing time. Hurrying helps no one and can lead to stress and mistakes. That is not an enjoyable experience for the customer, but is also no fun for you as an employee (especially if your employer finds out!).
Talk to customers as you would talk to people in your everyday life: real, sincere and human. Listen to what someone says and don't just draw on standard responses from the playbook. More fun for you, more fun for the customer. I have had several experiences of employees seeming to ignore my answer in order to blurt out a standard response. This made me feel uncomfortable and I left as soon as I could. Standard responses are not the way to win customers.
A compliment ("Those trousers are absolutely stunning!") or a joke here and there makes your work a little more enjoyable but makes the customer much happier and more at ease. It was her sense of humour that made Dini stand out and gave me a great lasting impression of the brand she represents.