“Breakaway” Customer Service
Firstly, I’m hoping my nephew Marcus isn’t reading this post, because I’m writing about a surprise gift we’re sending him.
It’s so much easier to say No. In fact, some in business would advocate herding clients into an efficient stream, re-routing them directly through lines of revenue, rather than flexing to meet the needs (and locales) of the clients themselves. For example, some businesses lessen the opportunities and venues to purchase their product – sometimes creating exclusivity, sometimes creating frustration.
Here’s the story: my nephew, Marcus, is a big lacrosse fan. He plays in high school and hopes to win a college scholarship to continue. He’s committed to the game and loves it. So when Washington state launched its professional lacrosse team, the Washington Stealth, we thought of Marcus, who lives several states away from any pro lacrosse team.
So here’s the business impact: we wanted to surprise Marcus with a Stealth team sweatshirt. After searching online (and oddly, no, you cannot buy team gear on the Stealth site), it appeared that we could acquire something from Breakaway Lacrosse in Bellevue. When I called, Ian at Breakaway Lacrosse explained that they sold Stealth gear prior to games, on location, encouraging us to attend a game. Apologetically, I shared that his passion was not mine and that we simply wanted to support my nephew in his dream.
And here’s the result: Ian took my number, contacted his boss, and made arrangements for his boss to bring a sweatshirt in Marcus’ size to the store for me to purchase. (Did you catch that detail: he made arrangements for his boss to deliver the sweatshirt.) Couldn’t Ian have replied No? Couldn’t he have explained that it was their policy to sell at games only? Couldn’t he have scoffed at my inappreciation for his sport?
Yes, Ian could have… and he didn’t. Instead, he chose to support a fan not present and help a customer near. Many thanks to Ian at Breakaway Sports in Bellevue, WA.
For further reading: reminds me a bit of Heather’s praise of Bella Vision in her article, Building a Loyal Following.