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Cynthia Clark | March 21, 2013

Extending Customer Service Beyond the Purchase

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Burberry Americas Headquarters-2.jpgThe customer experience doesn't end with a transaction. Instead, that's just the beginning and customers expect organizations to continue delivering an outstanding experience even after they have made a purchase.

Unfortunately some organizations are still making the mistake of not recognizing that the after-sales experience is as important as the one before a customer makes a purchase. Instead of helping customers with their needs, they seem to be passing on the message that all they care about is the customer's money.

It is therefore very refreshing to come across a business that continues to treat customers well years after a purchase is made. In a recent interaction Burberry has shown to be one such organization.

A few years ago my husband splurged on a winter coat from the British brand. The coat is still in a very good shape, but he recently lost one of the buttons. Since the buttons have the company logo engraved on them, I wanted to try and find exact replacements. So last month I emailed the company's customer service department to ask whether they had any replacement buttons for sale. A couple of days later I received a reply saying that Burberry offered a replacement button service. Although I was informed that this was limited to Burberry trench coats, I took a chance and sent a photo of the button I needed just in case they were similar.

I was in luck. Burberry responded, saying that they were sending me two replacement buttons, which came in handy as my husband has since lost a second button. Not only did they not charge me for them, but the packaged was shipped overnight.

This is good after-sales service and an example of a company that treats customers well years after they made a purchase. I would have been more than willing to pay for the replacement buttons and would not have taken it against Burberry for charging me for them. But by sending me the buttons for free, Burberry went over and above my expectations.

Does this mean that I'm going to become a loyal Burberry customer? Unfortunately my bank account is unlikely to permit that. But this experience has turned me into a fan of the brand and I will definitely keep it in mind next time I'm in the market for a luxury item. After all, every customer wants to do business with a company that treats him well.

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