We in the blogosphere are often quick to use our blogs to have a whinge about poor customer service we have received. I am guilty of it myself with blogging Is A Great Product/Service an Excuse for Bad Customer Service? and A Pure Unadulterated Rant.
We all come across instances of good and bad customer service every week but most of it is what I would call ‘acceptable’. I often muse that we get so used to ‘acceptable’ customer service, the type that is good but not memorable, that there are great opportunities for brands to easily stand out through exceptional customer service.
I experienced exceptional customer service the other week from a company by the name of Charles Tyrwhitt which was born in 1986 because the founder, Nicholas Wheeler, believed he could make a shirt better than anybody else. Since then, the business has worked to make “the finest menswear in the world, as well as a big dollop of good old-fashioned values including outstanding value for money and unbeatable service.”
I first came across the brand on a rainy day in Dublin, back in 2001, when I was in the city to see Ireland play the Wallabies. I was just killing time for the day and wandered into one of their stores. I didn’t really want anything, I was just browsing, but was so impressed by the store, the range and the customer service that I left with 3 shirts and 2 ties. They were beautifully packaged in gift boxes and I felt just a little bit posh walking around with my shopping bags. For a while after I always bought shirts from them.
But then I moved back to Australia and for one reason or another stopped buying them. Probably because there are no retail stores here in Australia. Then a friend was telling me he orders shirts online from the store.
So I jumped on and ordered a complete set of new business shirts (I was due anyway). They turned up from the UK in a week-and-a-half but unfortunately they fitted like a tent. Whoops.
I jumped online to chat with a customer service rep and that’s when the exceptional customer service started. Below is a transcript that was emailed to me as a follow up of our online conversation:
Andrew Blair: Hi, you’re speaking to Andrew Blair at Charles Tyrwhitt. How can I help you today?
Daniel Oyston: Hi Andrew, just had some shirts delivered to Australia but unfortunately they are too big. What do I need to do to exchange?
My order number was w36217982
Andrew Blair: Please return the shirts to us including a completed returns form and we will exchange them and send you a fresh order once we receive them back. Alternatively, you can place a new order for the correct size shirts now and then return the original order to us for a full refund.
Thanks Andrew. Think I will place a new order for the same shirt but diff sizes ... that way they will arrive quicker.
Andrew Blair: That's a good idea as this will speed up the process considerably.
Do you have a link for the returns form? I just had a quick look on the returns page of the site and couldn't see it
Andrew Blair: I don't have a scanned copy of a returns form anywhere. If there isn't one included with your order, just enclose a brief letter or note with your return detailing your name, address, customer number, contact number and the reason for return.
oh, oops, sorry, it is on the back of the form that's in the box.
Thanks for your help. Appreciate it.
Andrew Blair: My pleasure. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Daniel Oyston: Yes there is. I notice on the form one of the options for return says "2 sizes ordered - one kept". I don’t want to be a smart arse but is that acceptable if you are unsure of sizing? Just order 2 and send the one back that didn't fit?
Andrew Blair: Yes, that's something that we'd encourage our customers to do if they're unsure about sizing.
Daniel Oyston: awesome. sounds good then. I'll do that. Thanks again. That's everything sorted. Good work mate - keep it up
Andrew Blair: My pleasure! Many thanks for contacting us at Charles Tyrwhitt and enjoy the rest of your day. Goodbye.
Actually, one more thing - how the hell do you pronounce Tyrwhitt?
Andrew Blair: I know it doesn't look that way but it's pronounced 'tirrit' to rhyme with 'spirit'!
So I did exactly that and got 2 sizes of new shirts promptly delivered and returned the others for a refund.
Nicholas, if you read this post then you need to go and give Andrew a massive pat on the back, employee of the month, case of beer or free shirt or whatever you do there to reward employees because the way he easily looked after my problem, let alone made me feel like a valuable customer, was outstanding.
The brand also has a great presence on Facebook including some great video tips for men's dressing and they also make good use of Facebook as a customer service channel by engaging with customers.
You too should buy all your shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt because as the website says you will get “the finest menswear in the world, as well as a big dollop of good old-fashioned values including outstanding value for money and unbeatable service.”
Trust Oyster, you won’t be disappointed.