Greg and I are always discussing an organization's customer service skills. Greg is in the customer service industry and he takes great pride in trying to defuse tempers and please customers...with a smile on his face. Recently I've had several incidences dealing with customer service that have made an impact - some negative, some positive - but it's made me start really thinking about where I am going to spend my money. I would think in this day and age, with the economy the way it is, that businesses would go out of their way to offer exceptional customer service.
I had to work out of town Friday. I am doing a lot of merchandising work these days and my job for Friday was setting up a store. After I dropped Greg off at work I was going to hop on the interstate and start my 45 min drive to the store in Alabama. We live two miles from Greg's office. After I pulled into his office complex and dropped him off, I would have ordinarily headed back out to the main road and taken a left, driven two miles (passing our house) and gotten on the interstate. However, I decided I wanted to grab breakfast before I got on the interstate...we were out of milk at home due to Dakota's late night snacking...grrrrr.
So that got me to thinking...do I go to the left and run through McDonald's drive through which is right at the entrance to the interstate or do I continue on straight and drive 3 miles, go to Chick Fil-A (which has awesome customer service!) and then keep going straight for another 7-8 miles through traffic and red lights to get on the interstate at another on-ramp? Yeah, well if you guessed Chick Fil-A you guessed right.
I've had two bad experiences at THAT McDonald's lately and I told myself "forget it! I am not going there anymore!" Between my house and THAT McDonald's there is an Arby's, Capt D's, Subway, Taco Bell, Chinese Fast Food, Sushi place, and a Mexican Restaurant...do I need them?? Heck no!
Good Customer Service
I ordered something online from Drugstore.com and after waiting a month for it to come in I received an email one day that my order was canceled. When I looked at my credit card statement it looked like I had been charged for this order so I called customer service to ask them about this. They assured me I had not been charged (and after further inspection I saw where the charge was reversed) but after talking to the customer service rep for a few minutes and letting her know I really was not very happy with the way this was handled...the fact that I had been waiting every day for this order to come in and then just out of the blue they canceled the order with no explanation...she apologized profusely and gave me a $20.00 credit for future use. I was really surprised! I wasn't expecting anything. I just wanted them to know I wasn't happy with this.
What happened during this phone call though was because of her great customer service skills and her listening to me express my frustration and then offering me a $20.00 credit she completely changed my opinion of Drugstore.com. I had no intention of ever shopping there again BEFORE I made this phone call. When I got off the phone with her, I was smiling and actually looking forward to spending my credit!
Last example - remember my flowers from Flowerama I told you about the other day? Greg and I talked about it more and he called them Saturday. Long story short - they apologized and told him to come back in and they would replace the flowers. I pulled the dead flowers out of my other 3 vases and I divided my new roses and lilies up between the older flowers. Their comment..."we're sorry about this and we want to make it right." Great customer service!
Aren't they beautiful?