Customer Service Profiles: Amazon.com, Printing for Less, and Starbucks

I’m finishing up the series on customer service profiles with customer service profiles of Amazon.com, Printing for Less, and Starbucks.

Amazon.com:
I buy almost all of my books and quite a few other things on Amazon.com. Their site is designed to sell and it does a very good job. Amazon used to be a legendary customer service organization (there was a time where you could email them saying “I can’t find this book: –” and the staff would go out of their way to find it from a bookstore somewhere around the country. Amazon.com isn’t like this anymore (probably because of size), but their customer service isn’t bad.

A downside to Amazon is that it is very difficult to find their phone number. Not too long ago they added a click-to-call button on their customer service page (which works). Their system almost always work (which is very important) and Amazon very rarely messed up.

From the few years I’ve been using Amazon, I’ve only had to return one batch of books. The books appeared as if they were used and I had ordered and paid for new books. I sent them back, the company apologized, sent me new books, and I was happy. I continue to use them. The call seemed very scripted, but it got the job done.

Amazon.com could use an easier to find phone number, an easy to find live chat button, easy to find customer service emails, and things along those lines. They have the major elements to customer services success down – they just have to work on the little things.

Printing For Less:
I have never used Printing for Less, but I have heard a lot of good things about them (described here). The company seems to be extremely focused on customer service and has been very successful.

Printing for Less has a few things that you notice instantly: their phone number is on the very front page at the top left, there is a very convenient way to track your order from the front page, they have lots of informational pages about design tips and tricks, their email is easily found and published clearly, and they have lots of extras (such as free file review).

They seem to have most of the things they need down: a dedication to customer service (at both a frontline and management level), the little things (easy to find phone number, etc.), and the big things (quality product, reasonable pricing, etc.).

Starbucks:
Quite honestly, I very rarely go to Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee or anything else that I’d go to Starbucks to get, so I don’t have much first hand experience with them. However, Maria at CustomersAreAlways seems to almost live in Starbucks. Maria talks about Starbucks’ (almost always) good customer service in quite a few posts on her blog. She talks about Starbucks employees are often pro-active in solving customers problems (music too loud, a customer is cold), which is quite rare in the industry.

One Response to “Customer Service Profiles: Amazon.com, Printing for Less, and Starbucks”

  1. Service Untitled » (Lack of) Total Management Cooperation said:

    Sep 29, 06 at 5:06 pm

    […] I constantly babble about how important it is for the commitment to customer service to start at the top (also known as management dedication). However, a question I am asked a lot is “How do I convince my company’s management team that customer service is important?” This post will hopefully help you convince them and is dedicated to people in charge of a company’s customer service department. […]