Chapter 2 The Definition of “Outrageous Service”
“Outrageous Service:” service that is so above and beyond the ordinary that people will talk about it. In order to understand that definition, let’s look first at service that is not outrageous.
You go into a burger joint and order a burger with pickles and lettuce only. When you get your burger, it has pickles and lettuce, and ketchup and mustard. When you complain, the clerk takes the burger and gives you what you ordered, a burger with pickles and lettuce only. That is service–but it is not Outrageous Service. It is what you expect when you don’t get what you ordered. You’re not likely to go back to the office and tell your coworkers about the incident. If the burger joint practiced Outrageous Service, the clerk would replace your hamburger with what you ordered and tell you there would be no charge for it. Or, perhaps you would get a gift certificate for two free hamburgers. More than likely you would tell other people about the Outrageous Service you received. Everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes can become marketing tools.
Examples of what “Outrageous Service” is happen on a daily basis at the Hatcher Agency. A customer calls the agency and asks for a supply of claim forms. The customer expects us to mail the forms to be received in a couple of days. Our customer service representative says “We will be happy to get you some extra claim forms,” and a courier is dispatched to deliver the forms, along with a bag of gourmet cookies, that afternoon.
Another example is the receptionist who takes a call when an employee is out and offers to give the customer the car phone and home number of the employee is going the second mile. But, when that receptionist calls the employee’s car or phone number so the employee can return the call immediately, the customer is impressed. If a company demonstrates this kind of attentiveness on a regular basis, that is “Outrageous Service.”
Service is only outrageous when it is part of company policy. The CEO or any other executive in a company cannot deliver “Outrageous Service” unless every employee understands the concept and practices it consistently.