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Suck it Up, Buttercup

This is a tale of two passions – my love of great customer service and my daily desire for a punishing workout.

Picture this...you are in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart. When the person to your left yells "GO", you hurtle your body onto the ground in a pushup position, immediately thrust yourself back up with your feet spread wide, and then quickly jump into the air and clap your hands overhead. And then you do it again, and again, and again for as many reps as prescribed or as your worn body allows. This is the wonder known as the burpee.

Now do this again. But instead of concentrating on your form, or paying attention to the mounting soreness of your muscles, you are instead fixated on the annoying fact that your shirt is steadily creeping upwards. Instead of staying put at your waist, it is clustering and sliding. It rises and falls with every jump. Sigh. How can I properly execute this personal assault if I am distracted by my clothing?

The answer for me is Gymdoll. Their tanks solve everything. Soft and in pretty colors or basic black, they stay where they are meant to stay, and move where I want to go. At this point, “What the heck does this have to do with customer service?” is probably floating around in your brain. Well, suck it up buttercup, as I am about to tell you.

I had been introduced to them earlier this year, and was initially fascinated by their Public Motivational Statements that appear all over social media. It was almost like they were inside my brain. At the time I was still managing contact centers and their inspirational tags were essentially the same mantra that I was leading my teams with. I’ve often been referred to as an unconventional leader and a risk-taker, but I firmly believe in the basics - that the best customer experience comes simply from a motivated and empowered team. And I really could relate the Gymdoll company philosophy back into the call center.

    You get back exactly what you put in. Put in work.
    It's amazing what you can do when you push yourself.
    Challenge yourself. Always.
    Make progress, not excuses.

And my personal favorite, "Suck it up, buttercup." Anyone who’s ever worked in one of my contact centers can certainly hear that phrase passing my lips.

Finally, it is here where my passions collide. I recently needed new shirts so I got online, easily placed my order, and went about my evening. Early the next morning I received an email from Chris in Gymdoll customer service lamenting that there was a problem with an item in my order and that they would be unable to fulfill it. Darn it, it was the color that I most wanted! I was initially disappointed; I immediately got over it.

The email I received is customer service perfection! They managed to tell me I couldn’t have what I really, really wanted, but that I was still going to be really, really happy about it! It was their problem that negatively affected me, yet I was not going to lay blame. In fact, I wasn’t the least bit upset.

It’s entirely because the email was so personalized. The email contained alternatives and suggestions, and it conveyed care and urgency. In an added bit of brilliance, it also acknowledged the core problem (quality) and gave props to the person that noticed it (teamwork). Not a lick of excuses to be found. Chris, my "Gymdoll Customer Service Extraordinaire" was no scripted robot, and gave darn good customer experience.

And so I responded in kind. Yes, I will take your suggestion! Yes, I appreciate what you do! Yes, I will have a great workout! Within minutes I had another personalized response from Chris, and shortly thereafter a shipping confirmation.

Their message resonated with me the first time I encountered them, and it is delightful to know that they live up to it. A great product is part of a brand, but a great customer service team can make all the difference. I’ve loved their shirts for months now, but I would forget to talk about them unless someone commented on one I was wearing. I did not forget to talk about this. Extraordinary customer service sticks with you and makes you want to scream, share, and suck it up where appropriate.

As soon as Turquoise is back in stock, I will be placing a follow-up order. I’m almost hoping something goes awry so I have a purpose (not an excuse) to interact with customer service. In the meantime, Happy Holidays Gymdoll. You have a lot to celebrate.

ICMI also believes that a great customer experience usually starts with the agent. In an upcoming webinar, we’ll share some great ideas around reducing agent stress this holiday season. Learn tips that will keep your agents focused on the needs of the customer, instead of on the pressures of their job. You can register for Wednesday’s complimentary webinar here: bit.ly/SM15rc.