Do You Have a Puking Baby Customer Service Policy?

by Barry Moltz on June 13, 2010

This guest post by Dan Oltersdorf shows that customer service needs to be ready for anything!

“My family is sick.  The stomach bug has hit.  Hard.  It started Friday with Grace, my 3.5 year old, then hit my wife and 1.5 year old (Lydia) today.  Today, I left work early to take the girls to the doctor.

I have been trying to find a part to fix my lawn sprinkler system, but the place that carries them is a commercial outlet that primarily serves contractors and isn’t open on the weekends.  Since it is a Tuesday, and I had left work early, I decided to stop by with the girls on the way to the doctor.  I showed up at DBC Irrigation Supply with both girls in tow.  Grace was crying, and I held Lydia in one arm as I waited for the staff member to find the replacement solenoid valve I was looking for.

Just as the staff member came back to the counter with the replacement part, Lydia started to throw up on me.  It started small, then turned into something out of the exorcist. Thankfully, my shirt caught pretty much all of it, and the floor was spared.  This is where my customer service story starts.

Immediately, 2 different employees came toward me with towels to help clean Lydia (and me) off.  Another one went to wet some paper towels.  Then, yet another employee asked my shirt size and went into a back room, returning with a T-Shirt.

I left with my solenoid, but more importantly, I left as a raving fan and evangelist for DBC Irrigation Supply.

So, what’s the customer service takeaway here?  Most of you won’t have vomiting children in your place of business on a regular basis (I hope).  This type of customer service is different.

Today, I experienced a type of customer service that can’t be proceduralized.  This was an industrial outlet, and I can almost guarantee I was the first person who ever walked into this supply warehouse and had a baby puke all over him… yet the employees responded with more initiative and empowerment than I would expect in many high class establishments.

This is a type of customer service that can’t be planned for.  You can’t create a puking baby policy.  This type of customer service requires employees who are empowered to make decisions on the fly that reflect your core values, your ethos as a company.

Have you trained your employees to do whatever it takes to serve customers?  Do they feel empowered to give away a T-shirt?

At Campus Advantage, we have a philosophy that empowers each of our employees, whether they are student staff or corporate team members to do whatever it takes to serve our customers well.

Get together with your team today and discuss your Puking Baby Policy.

P.S. If you are ever in need of irrigation supplies, you know where to go.”

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