IKEA Turns Common Sense Upside Down To Demonstrate Customer Service Quality by Ron Kaufman

Sometimes it’s the little gestures that make a huge difference in customer service quality. Going above and beyond to help people out on a “rainy day,” for example can make your company shine.

A great example of customer service quality in action comes from the retail world. At IKEA the furniture store, oversized umbrellas sit near the check-out.

The umbrellas are huge (3 people can fit underneath), colorful (in IKEA’s signature blue and yellow with a big company logo), and made of good quality materials (strong cloth, steel shaft, large wooden handle). Exactly the kind of umbrella you want to carry when it’s raining.

A small sign hangs nearby:

IKEA UMBRELLAS
Sunny Day………….. $10.

Rainy Day………….. $3.

I did a double-take, then smiled at the clever demonstration of customer service quality. Rainy days are when you really need an umbrella. Common sense says a smart retailer could raise the price and easily entice customers to buy. After all, there is a captive audience for umbrellas on a rainy day. But IKEA is even smarter and opts for customer service quality instead.

IKEA wants you to enjoy the convenience of a big umbrella when you need it the most. They want you to remember the unusually low price. They want you to help promote their stores with a huge IKEA umbrella.
Key Learning Point
IKEA wants you coming back. And with customer service quality like this, you will.

Action Steps
What “rainy day” situations hurt your customers? Equipment failure? Supplies out of stock? Last-minute delivery needs? Do they expect to pay more for urgent, special or last-minute attention? That’s the moment to “turn common sense upside down” and give your customers more than they expect, at less than they expect to pay. The exercise in customer service commitment might just earn you business for life.
Your income may be lower for a moment, but your revenue will be healthy for a lifetime.

About the Author

Ron Kaufman is the world’s leading educator and motivator for upgrading customer service and uplifting service culture. He is author of the bestselling UP Your Service! books and founder of UP Your Service! College. Read more articles and tips about Customer Service Quality.

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