Grainger's "Yes Desk" Improves Customer Satisfaction
Industrial supply company Grainger was used to telling customers “no” if their request fell outside of a strict set of requirements. But in 2012, they created the “Yes Desk”, a centralized support team whose sole purpose was to be able to solve unique problems and requests. The team has 24 hours to determine the cost and feasibility of a request, and strives to say “yes” as often as possible. As VP Deb Oler noted, the key to the program's success was:
“...to get into the habit of asking the customer, ‘What is the problem you’re trying to solve?’ instead of focusing narrowly on a request to print in blue ink.”
Not only did the “yes desk” increase customer satisfaction—averaging about 800 more “yeses” per year since its creation—it boosted employee moral. Grainger leadership publicly celebrates team members who go above and beyond to say yes to their customers.
Takeaway: Small wins can be as rewarding to the team as to the customer. If you're struggling with how to improve customer service, try giving one team the resources and authority to meet unusual requests, and publicly acknowledge those who make a special effort to improve customer satisfaction.