On Customer Service: Fix It (even if you didn’t break it!)

Among the things of which I am most proud at Media Beyond is our attention to customer service. We originally got into this business because of our love for video making and the craft that entails; we stay in business because of our clients, and our attention to customer service for those clients reflects their importance to us.

A key example: a client was adding video files we created to her PowerPoint presentation –  after screening them on our online portal, she downloaded them but couldn’t play them back locally.  After testing the files on our end and not being able to re-create her problem, she volunteered that a colleague at another facility was able to download and play back the files without issue – indicating to us that the problem was not with the media we provided, and that we were in the clear, error-wise.

But it is very, very poor customer service to say, “We now know it’s definitely not our fault, so good luck with that.” Knowing full well that a big corporate IT department could move slowly, and that our client’s problem was, at least to her, urgent, we decided to roll up our sleeves and see what we could do.

Experience had told us that files that seem to be working fine for most people (with a single exception) are often screwed up in downloading.  Quickly posting her material to an alternate source allowed us to test this theory – and lo and behold, her second-chance download worked!  If she had been left to deal with her IT department, there would no doubt have been software upgrades, codec downloads, and lots of hand-wringing before even realizing that the source file may not have been downloaded correctly – and we would have needed to provide an alternative download anyway.  Staying with our client, and making sure her experience with us didn’t end at the video approval stage allowed us to make her feel appreciated and supported – and to make her deadline.

The crucial lesson is that the client’s needs are always the most important thing. If we had abandoned her once we determined our original files were okay, we would have come across as…less than caring in that regard. But we didn’t. We went beyond the scope of our contract because we know what it is like when technology gets between you and doing your job. It’s this type of customer service that our clients appreciate most, and is one of the key elements that brings them back to us.

Have you had a service company go the extra mile for you? Or have you ever been left hanging by a vendor or partner?  Tell me about it in the comments.