Monday, 7 February 2005

Lakeland: great customer service

There is only one company in the UK that consistently delivers on customer service, and indeed outperforms on occasion: Lakeland.

Unsexy they may be, yes - kitchen/household items and consumables, though branching more now into into other stuff for the home (even some PC-related stuff like a laptop cooler!).

But other companies in the UK, and indeed elsewhere, could learn a thing or two from them.

Recently I ordered from them, paying extra for a next day delivery service as I was going to be home to receive delivery of the stuff the next day. Unusually, by 5pm it hadn't arrived, and when I rang them they apologised profusely and said they'd experienced exceptional demand. It would be delivered the next working day instead. I would have had to take that day off to be in - so I asked them to refund the cost of the next day delivery service. Which they did without a quibble.

When my boxes arrived, I found that they'd included a voucher for 20 pounds off my next order, along with a note of apology. Even though they'd already refunded the special delivery charge.

Now that's customer service. And it's not the first time I've had something similar with Lakeland. I'm pretty fussy and have high standards - and I've always been delighted with Lakeland (except for one incident I won't go into, and which I willingly forgave them for given everything else before and since). Yet I've shopped with Lakeland for years, and I intend to continue to do so. They're a joy to deal with, and I don't often say that about a home shopping (or indeed any) company!

Most companies don't realise that customers acknowledge everyone makes mistakes, and with the best will in the world things will go wrong sometimes. What separates the company which will keep an almost fanatically loyal customer base from the indifferent rest is how it deals with the situation when things go wrong. And in this area, Lakeland is unequalled, in my experience.
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