Great customer service creates loyalty

I like to cook – my specialties are typically individual dishes – whether one-pot meals like a good beef bourguignon or chicken paprikas. Recently I’ve branched out making dishes a little more exotic like Fried Tofu or spicy kale with salted chiles. Of course staples such a jalapeno-cornbread and almost-no-knead bread are still part of my cooking skill set.

You may ask what all of these dishes have in common and the only real unifying factor is that I use just two pieces of Le Creuset  to make them all.  One is the classic  7 1/4 quart french oven (aka Dutch oven)  and the other is  the 12 inch cast iron frying pan , both in a delightful shade of blue. Although I had owned cast iron cookware before- both dutch ovens and frying pans – I became enamored by the ease with which enameled cookware cleans up. The frying pan especially serves every purpose needed of a frying pan and is now virtually non-stick without having to worry about teflon or any other problems. And because they are enameled there is none of the dreaded “seasoning” issues that create fear and loathing in the hearts of far too many cooks.

Most of our Le Creuset cookware pre-dates my marriage (they were my wife’s) and we’ve never had issues with any of them in the 10 years we’ve been married. While I’ve been a loyal consumer and recommended them to many soon-to-be newlyweds as well as bought them for said newlyweds, I’ve never had to contact customer service. So it was a pleasant surprise to read David Silverman’s recent blog entry about his experience with Le Creuset.

In an age when companies are cutting back on taking care of customers because it “costs” too much it’s a real pleasure to see a company do the best they can to help their customers. Great customer service isn’t the cure if your products aren’t great but if you have great products and don’t take care of your customers you are giving your competitors a chance to take them away.  I know I’ve become an even more loyal customer of Le Creuset because of Mr. Silverman’s experience.

Normally poor customer service is guaranteed to drive your customers away although Twitter seems to be the exception to this rule. The question that comes to mind in regards to Twitter is: “if people don’t pay for your service are they really customers?”

The infamous and all too familiar Twitter fail whale.

The infamous and all too familiar Twitter fail whale.

I’ve only been Twittering for a short period of time (check out @jobhuntin) but not a single day goes by that I don’t see the “Twitter is over capacity, the too many tweets message”. Of course given how much I pay for twitter (bupkis), I guess I can’t complain too much. But I still wonder about the structural problems of Twitter and their seeming inability to solve them given that this message to be seen so often, by so many.  And I’ll leave for another time the discussion of their business model and the endless questions about how will they monetize their massive user base. Or how long their user-base will stick around before they are siphoned away to the next new thing? (see Geocities, AOL, Friendster as relevant examples)

Everyone has experienced both good and bad customer service, so do you have a recent experience with great customer service? Or not so great customer service? If so, let me know. -t


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