Working in style
A question I pondered recently – is service experience able to be designed, or does it already need to be in your DNA in order to happen? The following story sets out an answer:
Working Style – the eponymous mens tailor recently saved my bacon (well, actually my gut from hanging out)… and I am not just indebted to them, I think I actually love them.
Recently I was in Auckland, had carefully packed everything to attend a toney black tie event – shoes, tick; matching socks, tick; suit, tick; bow tie, tick; cufflinks, tick. You get the picture. So all day I worked in the office, got a ton done but as usual was running a little late for the event when I raced to the men's to change… and there it was that the terror of not remembering the fundamental black tie trap – the white shirt (tick) needs those pesky little metal studs (cross) – cause it doesn't have buttons like a normal shirt.
So, the sweats break out, I try (yeah I really did) to see if I could fudge closing the shirt with two pairs of cufflinks (fail) and then started to panic. The options seemed clear (and there were really only 3). One – figure out something with paper clips or maybe double sided tape; Two – just don't go, feign illness, lie to the other half about why you couldn't make it, but don't show up with your shirt open at the beginning of the evening; Three – think of something else real fast – surely you know someone close who might be able to help…
So it came to me – Working Style, off to the website, grabbed the Chancery store number (where I'd bought the sodding shirt the year before for the same event!) and call… they have just closed, but hear the panic in my voice, seem to actually care enough to stay open while I sprint semi-clad through downtown Auckland rush hour traffic and help me out. Arriving at a serene and somewhat closed store, I tap at the door and am allowed entry. What awaits was a lifesaver. The guys had already denuded a mannequin of said studs and had them ready in the change room for me, after changing wouldn't take my money, re-tied the bow tie I'd managed to mangle on my cross town dash, and wished me a fantastic and more relaxing evening ahead. Then off I went, out into the bright lights of Auckland, the AMP Scholarship annual awards dinner and a great night.
Saved. So, you see, I have to love Working Style.
Working Style seem to know what service means, it's an experience I'll remember for some time. It marks them down as a saviour, and apart from so many other places and other products where if you are closed, you are closed. In many other experiences I've had – if I was dumb and didn't pack well – I'd pay the consequences. The value to Working Style is this. I bought the shirt there – already the experience was great –now this has bought them some loyalty. The cost to them was actually pretty low.
At DNA we work in a domain where business drivers and metrics matter – people talk of lifetime value, cost to serve, the cost of acquiring customers and so forth. When one gets a great service experience, it counts for a lot. Equally, bad ones will burn you.
What does it say about knowing your customers, going a little further to meet their needs, and looking past the current sale? Heaps! I'm sure this is not an accident, but it's also done without pretension, it's down to earth, good honest service design at work. I think service, quality and a human touch are in Working Style's DNA – but it is also something they obviously work at and keep designing into all they do – product, stores, marketing, partnerships, and most importantly – people.
If relief leads to respect, then service when it's designed well surely leads to love. It doesn't get better than this… in trying to compose a tweet I toyed with "Thanks @workingstyle for helping a 'man in a state of severe panic' last night, it was a great display, really amazing service and support (which I'm sure you are known for), a life saver in fact… the event was great and I was able to relax and enjoy – many thanks - Grenville"… but it's more than 145 characters, and way better said with merely "Working Style you rock".
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