“We’re running behind, so we’ll be there early.” says the FedEx call center rep. Something in my head tells me that makes no sense: ‘… late, so it’ll be there early‘. Have I stumbled into a reverse universe or something? Is today opposite day (my kids love those)?
Here’s what had happened: I ordered a Christmas present online and was surprised when it got shipped the day I placed the order. I had selected ground service, because I had not expected that kind of efficiency. In addition to that I was not going to be home for a few days around Christmas, so I had planned to make it a late gift anyway. Now that I see the package is in transit, I’m checking the FedEx website wondering, if I can maybe have the package held at the FedEx location, so I can go and pick it up or if I can change the delivery address, since I won’t be home on the scheduled delivery day. Yesterday the package was still in Chattanooga.
I check again this morning and the site says: “On FedEx vehicle for delivery, scheduled to be delivered on Monday, 12/23.” I call FedEx and that’s where I get my answer: “We’re running behind, so we’ll be there early.” 30 minutes later, I hear the truck show up at my house.
FedEx delivers their cheapest package 3 days early.
FedEx had no reason what-so-ever to get this package to me early. I had not paid for overnight service, nor the added fee for a Saturday delivery (I don’t think Ground packages are ever delivered on Saturday), but FedEx knows Christmas is a busy time for them, but instead of saying: “Everyone will understand that we’re busy. Packages are gonna be late. That’s just how it goes around Christmas.” Nope, that’s not there attitude FedEx has and by the way here is what they did to prep for last years busiest season of the year.
Did it cost FedEx extra money to get me that package. Yes. Did they have to do it? No. Was I expecting them to do it? Absolutely not. Am I happy they did? You betcha. Why am I writing about it? I’m blogging about this, because it made my think about how I treat my customers. I constantly try to under promise and over deliver to my clients, but I’m impressed how FedEx over-delivered (no pun intended).
When the pressure is on, face tight deadlines, work with small budgets and are confronted with impossible situations, do you tell yourself that your client will understand, if you break your commitment? Or do you figure out a way to blow their expectations out of the water? Out of all the days of the year, this is the one week, where I anyone would totally understand, that a shipping company would not go out of their way to get me a package early. (I mean do you think UPS would do this? No. [Sorry, but I’ve experienced time and time again that UPS does not go out of their way for their customers.] Do you think the United States Postal Service could do it, if they tried? Don’t make me laugh.)
You know that you should put our customers first (especially if you run a successful small business). But how far ahead of you do you put your customers? FedEx put me 3 days ahead of their written commitment. That’s impressive on any day of the year. That’s customer service that over-delivers. But for them to pull that off during the busiest week they’ve ever had, makes me a very loyal customer and more than that – an advocate for their brand.
Tell me in the comments how you over-deliver to your customers, so that they want to be fierce advocates for your brand?