Killer Customer Service and Other Small Business Goodness

By Lauren Simonds | Posted January 16, 2015

Before I get into the wonderful small business stories I found on the Web this week, I want to send a congratulatory shout-out to an ecommerce website called JiffyShirts. We've posted a lot of articles about good customer service on Small Business Computing: why it's important, how to provide it. I went shopping at JiffyShirts and received a master class in the art of good customer service.

I'd never shopped on the site before, and I purchased several articles of clothing. Two of the items didn’t survive the trip through the wash, so I emailed JiffyShirts on January 15 for help. I emailed them at 12:37 pm, and it took all of 23 minutes for them (specifically, Bryan) to:

  • Email me a personal response apologizing for the inconvenience
  • Say that they would replace the items (my request)
  • Send an automated notice that they had already shipped the replacement order
  • Tell me that I don’t need to return the damaged items

Let’s recap: a prompt, apologetic response; items replaced no questions asked; speedy shipping; no need to return the damaged merchandise. And UPS literally just delivered the replacements—slightly more than 24 hours after I sent the initial email.

Will I shop at JiffyShirts again? No doubt about it. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how it's done.

Do you have any customer service experiences—stellar or otherwise? Please share them in the comments section below.

[More] Customer Service and Support

  • Do you have certain customers that you love—either because they lift your spirits or their deep-seated loyalty keeps food on your table and a roof over your head? Then be sure to show them your gratitude in a way that goes beyond a clichéd card or impersonal email.
  • Customers are good for more than providing the aforementioned food and roof. They can also help you improve your products or even create new ones. It's all about feedback and innovation.

Entrepreneurs

  • Sometimes it's ridiculously easy to get caught up in the idea that you need a lot of money to make any money. That you can’t build a successful business anymore without securing loans, VC funding, or a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign. But as the Gershwin old song says, it ain't necessarily so. This woman took her spicy idea to farmer's markets for far less than $10K. And now she's gone global.
  • So much work and planning goes into building a business—no surprise there, everyone expects that. But eventually, you may decide to sell your business, either willingly or out of necessity. Selling your business can be just as complex and time-consuming; following these steps will help you get the most value out of your business.

Social Media

  • If you're new to promoting your business through social media, you're about to embark on an adventure in customer engagement, more commonly known as talking to your customers (current and potential). But how often should you respond to all those social media posts, Likes, and tweets? Luckily, there's a flow chart for that.
  • It seems impossible to know everything about how to use the various social media platforms. That's why cheat sheets were invented. Enjoy these social media tips and shortcuts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pintrest. I love the one that lets you replace ads with baby animals.

Taxing Time

  • If you, like many other TurboTax Deluxe customers, rely on it to fill out Schedules C, D, and E, prepare to be irked. Because tax preparation isn't fun enough, it should cost you more.

Feel Good Friday

  • Head into your weekend with a healthy dose of don't-it-feel-good. Whether or not you're a fan of American Idol, I defy you to watch "Hollywood" Anderson's audition tape and not feel joyous.  That warm fuzzy extends beyond his beautiful voice and emotional performance, though. Anderson's backstory includes a stay at Covenant House, an organization that provides services to homeless and runaway youth. You can read more about this talented young man in an open letter by Kevin M. Ryan, president and CEO of Covenant House.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com. Follow her on Twitter.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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