Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What LL Bean can Teach us About Service

The National Retail Federation recently named LL Bean the number one retailer when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. There were a number of reasons customers voted LL Bean number one - including their liberal return policy. If you’re unsatisfied with a product you purchased at LL Bean they’ll take it back no matter how long ago you purchased it.
According to their website, back in 1916 a sign hung on their wall that read, “I don’t consider a sale complete until goods are worn out and the customer is still satisfied.” Today, they stand behind that statement by saying, “At L.L Bean your satisfaction is always guaranteed.”
What we can learn from their example is that to be in business for the long haul you have to establish trust and loyalty with your customers. LL Bean has done just that. Customers know that if they’re unhappy with a purchase for whatever reason – LL Bean will make it right.
Granted, there will always be customers who abuse return policies but they are far outweighed by the benefit of building a loyal base of customers who return again and again because they know they’ll be taken care of before, during and after the sale. By following the model set by L.L. Bean your business will stand a good chance of surviving and thriving for many years just as L.L. Bean has.

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