HomeBlogBusinessIt’s Your Fault or How Important Is Customer Service to Business

It’s Your Fault or How Important Is Customer Service to Business

It’s Sunday, and my loved one and I are preparing ourselves for a motorcycle trip to Turkey. We need a new tent, new sleeping mats, and several other accessories that we missed out on during our recent motocamping adventure, especially considering that we’ll be traveling to very remote areas.

We gather our gear, hop on our bikes, and head to the famous Dutch camping store, Bever, in Amsterdam.

motocamping adventure image

Upon entering the store, I remove my helmet and heavy jacket, then attempt to place my old sleeping bag on the floor while scanning the store for an assistant.

  • “Hey, could I leave my gear somewhere, please?” I asked a middle-aged man who looked annoyed by my presence.
  • “No, I can’t keep an eye on your belongings,” he replied, barely concealing his irritation.
  • “But my hands are full; I can’t shop like this.” I rolled my eyes in a mix of anger and shock. I know Dutch customer service has a reputation; they act like they hate money, and it often feels like you’re at fault for wanting to buy something. Yet, this guy went the extra mile to make me feel unwelcome.
  • “Well, you’re the one who decided to come into the store with a helmet,” he retorted.

At that moment, I became furious. I decided not to cause a conflict, but I couldn’t resist passively-aggressively repeating his own words out loud so that others would hear.

  • “Oh, so it’s my fault for coming to a travel store in travel gear. Oh, I’m sorry for bothering you by coming here to shop.”

Let me make this clear – this is not my typical behavior. I don’t make scenes. I mean, ever. It was my first time. Normally, I’d rather turn around, apologize, and never return to this store. But for some reason, this guy simply got under my skin.

However, this story isn’t what you might expect, and its outcome surprised me greatly. It turned out to be so illustrative that I decided to use it as an example of the importance of a good quality customer service in business.

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    Don’t buy it

    My customer relationships with Bever started long before the incident I’m talking about now.

    I’m an experienced traveler, yet I only started camping this year, since I got bored with the luxury of three-star hotels and motorbiking. I needed to add a missing piece to my adventures, and sleeping under the stars seemed like a great option.

    Don’t buy it

    A couple of months before this memorable conversation, I dropped by a local retail store to buy a portable pump for my mattress, which I didn’t know didn’t require a pump.

    The lady in the store asked me a few questions about the model of my mattress. She then quietly turned around, pulled out the exact same model, and explained how to take care of it, how to store it, and most importantly, that I didn’t need a pump for this mattress.

    I didn’t buy the mattress from them—I ordered it online from Amazon. Yet, this lady was very careful and thorough, ensuring the mattress would last longer for me.

    She prevented me from buying something unnecessary because she proved to me that I didn’t need it.

    I left the store, but I recount this positive customer service experience with gratitude, noting how strange it is that such useful information isn’t included in the product instructions anywhere.

    Zappos Case

    One of the greatest examples of how providing great customer service can impact a business is Zappos. Founded in 1999, Zappos built its reputation on providing helpful customer service, which has been a cornerstone of its success.

    Zappos Case

    The company offers a 365-day return policy with free shipping both ways and 24/7 customer support. Their approach to customer service goes beyond transactions, focusing on customer satisfaction and creating personal connections with loyal customers. 

    This strategy has not only fostered strong brand loyalty but also driven significant growth through repeat, satisfied customers and word-of-mouth marketing. 

    Zappos’ dedication to customer satisfaction was so impactful that it led to their acquisition by Amazon for $1.2 billion in 2009, a testament to the power of providing good customer service first.

    Customers will pay more to companies with good customer service

    Customers are willing to pay more to companies that offer great customer service. For instance, I often find myself doing this with Amazon. There are occasions when I consciously choose to pay extra in order to benefit from Amazon’s exceptional customer support.

    Take, for example, the incident when I ordered a mattress (yes, another mattress tale… perhaps I have a soft spot for them). I required one for guests who were staying over at my place.

    Previously, a few months back, I had bought a mattress from a different company. However, it broke down after just one use. When I tried to return it using the company’s website form, I encountered technical issues.

    Despite making three more attempts to reach out to the company, I ultimately gave up. In frustration, I decided to purchase from the same brand but through Amazon, knowing that I would receive a refund if the mattress turned out to be faulty.

    Consider the implications of this scenario. I willingly paid more for the same product, opting to purchase through a middleman, solely because I knew that the official distributor of the brand provided inferior customer service compared to Amazon.

    What does this tell us? It underscores the fact that loyal customers often prioritize superior customer support and are willing to pay a premium for it.

    Excellent Customer Service Increase Customer Retention & Customer Loyalty

    Additionally, this story highlights the significant impact of proactive customer service on retention and loyalty.

    What motivated me to choose Bever over other stores? It was my previous encounters with their exceptional customer support.

    Returning to the store was a deliberate decision because I knew the staff there genuinely enjoy what they do, they appear to be avid travelers themselves, and they offer something invaluable that the internet cannot—personal opinions and expertise.

    I made a conscious effort to ride 30 minutes in full gear just to engage with someone whom I believed could offer me assistance and share their wisdom and personal experiences.

    Excellent Customer Service Increase Customer Retention & Customer Loyalty

    What I didn’t mention in the story was that I ended up spending over a thousand euros at the store that day.

    Despite encountering a situation where I felt somewhat inconvenienced and uncomfortable, I chose to give the store a second chance. 

    It was the initial great customer experience, where a staff member helped me avoid purchasing something unnecessary at the time, that ultimately compelled me to return.

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      Great Customer Service Increases Revenue

      “Get two, you can always return one,” a consultant suggested.

      While my better half searched for t-shirts, I debated whether to buy one or two portable kitchen sinks.

      We settled on one, but the sense of care from the consultant prompted me to purchase several other unplanned items. 

      We ended up buying chair accessories, a new water filter, and a few other miscellaneous items, thereby increasing our total purchase value.

      There’s a feeling of indebtedness to a smiling advisor who shows genuine care and support, making it natural to follow their guidance.

      This phenomenon isn’t limited to smaller purchases. Surprisingly, many individuals have bought houses they didn’t need and upgraded cars with options exceeding their initial budgets.

      Providing excellent customer service is important, it consistently drives revenue growth, while poor service inevitably leads to a decline—an observation that may seem obvious but is often overlooked by many businesses.

      Customer Support Team Generates Referrals

      Before we delve into the conclusion of this story, allow me to illustrate how exceptional customer support can unexpectedly generate new customers for a business.

      Customer Support Team Generates Referrals

      I used to be an avid drone enthusiast, frequently flying custom-built devices capable of speeds exceeding 150 kmph (90 mph+). Unfortunately, crashes were a common occurrence, often resulting in the destruction of the attached GoPro cameras.

      Fortunately, GoPro offered a subscription model where, for a small monthly fee, subscribers could have their cameras replaced once a year for free, and thereafter for a nominal charge, no questions asked.

      As you might have guessed, I took full advantage of this subscription service, frequently replacing my camera every other month. Despite being one of the few customers who utilized the service so extensively, I inadvertently brought GoPro at least four new customers who also subscribed to the service and, to my knowledge, haven’t experienced any camera crashes. My positive customer feedback made a big deal!

      The pattern emerged when people sought my advice on camera options. I consistently directed them to the GoPro website, advocating it as the best choice available.

      What I learned from this positive experience is that sometimes, customers who may seem costly to accommodate can turn out to be your most effective brand advocates, even without your awareness.

      Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers

      What unfolded that day was my decision to give the store a second chance based on my past customer experience. However, my encounter that day was transformative, almost like an emotional rollercoaster.

      Initially, I was disappointed by a severe case of bad customer service, only to later experience a complete turnaround.

      Upon entering the store, following that remarkable conversation, I ascended to the second floor in search of assistance with my luggage. A young man quickly approached me, offering his help. He swiftly took my gear, placed it at the counter, and apologized as he needed to attend to another customer.

      I waited briefly, and when he became available, everything changed. He patiently addressed all our queries, assisting us with selecting sleeping bags and introducing us to camping bed linen, a product I was unaware of. He even assembled a camping table for us, a purchase we had contemplated making online. Throughout, he provided attentive care and support.

      Later, at the checkout counter, he assisted us further, as the store was temporarily out of stock of one item. He graciously took my order online and continued to share his insights and experiences, leaving me feeling genuinely valued.

      Though I don’t know his name, and tipping isn’t customary in Dutch culture, I would certainly tip him without hesitation if I were in the US. His exceptional customer service with a smile was truly deserving of recognition.

      Final Word

      What this story has reinforced for me is the importance of treating customers like royalty. Every interaction holds the potential for a positive outcome.

      Approach each encounter, whether with prospects, current customers, or former customers, with a commitment to providing exceptional service and exceeding customer expectations. Go above and beyond to assist them in any way you can.

      Investing in great customer support yields long-term benefits, and who knows, perhaps your company will be hailed as the Zappos of our era—renowned for its exceptional customer service and many satisfied customers. A professional customer service team is important for competitive advantage, no matter what anyone says.

      If you find yourself in need of guidance on improving your customer care, training your customer service staff, implementing digital service systems, or simply require a fresh perspective, I’m just a click away. Leave your contact information on our “Contact Us” page, and let’s start a conversation!

      Thank you for taking the time to read.

      Best regards,


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        System Thinker, Technology Evangelist, and Humanist, Jeff, brings a unique blend of experience, insight, and humanity to every piece. With eight years in the trenches as a sales representative and later transitioning into a consultant role, Jeff has mastered the art of distilling complex concepts into digestible, compelling narratives. Journeying across the globe, he continues to curate an eclectic tapestry of knowledge, piecing together insights from diverse cultures, industries, and fields. His writings are a testament to his continuous pursuit of learning and understanding—bridging the gap between technology, systems thinking, and our shared human experience.

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