How to Win Customer Loyalty

Do you know what might be one of the best companies in the world, at least as far as customer service?

Expedia.

Now this isn’t a paid endorsement, merely one person’s opinion.

Expedia is awesome!

Recall that Domer and I just returned from our failed trip to Ireland.

One of the hotels we’d booked (for a four-night stay) was through Expedia.

When we decided to come home early, we spoke with the hotel desk clerk and were told they couldn’t refund our payment because we’d booked through Expedia. Then they provided us with phone numbers to call upon our return.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get my money back.

Aer Lingus, the airline, turned me down. But the parking company kindly refunded me and so did the first hotel we didn’t stay at.

All I was waiting on was the abbreviated stay at our last hotel.

Yesterday, I received a call from Expedia’s Customer Service Department, wanting to know who we’d spoken with at the hotel desk and whether we’d received a receipt.

Neither of us could remember a name; we had no receipt.

The Expedia rep said the hotel told them they had no record of our leaving early.

Uh-oh. I started hearing the faint sound of Cha-Ching again.

This morning I was going to call the hotel and beg the manager to substantiate our claim.

It proved unnecessary.

Expedia just called and said they’d honor our request for a refund — whoo hoo!

I told her the only thing I had to prove we’d left early was our stamped airline tickets, copies of which I’d be glad to forward.

No need, she said. Your refund will arrive in seven to 14 days.

Happy Dance!

You know, it’s easy to see why companies with superior customer service are successful. Customer service is one of the tenets of business. It’s what enables people to return goods without hassle, speak with a real person over the phone, and feel prices are fair and treatment is gentle.

I think this quote sums it up perfectly:

There is a spiritual aspect to our lives – when we give we receive – when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!

— Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s