What a day. Actually, I’ve had quite a few of those days recently dealing with managers, store directors, CEOs, etc. Some of them make you cringe; it’s as if their listening trait was turned off at birth.
Lately I have had my fair share of dealings with customer service and management personnel and while some of them realize it’s the customers who make their business, there are others couldn’t care less if they lose a loyal customer.
Take World Market for instance. I noticed an extra charge on my receipt, higher than first stated on my order. It was only an extra $1 or so, but it was still more than I was originally quoted, so I called their customer service department to inquire about it. The gentleman that took my call was not only peppy, but chatted about traveling and family, all while he looked into my charge and promptly offered me a $25 gift card for the error. For a mere dollar in extra charges, they gave me back $25?! That was their customer service the day after Christmas!
Another great company I dealt with was Lenox. Since I was dealing with high priced products, I figured I was in for a fight when I needed to call about a half missing china set. However, without asking any questions or giving me a hard time, they just agreed to re-ship my missing set. How about that? The customer service rep even asked me how I was enjoying the pattern and why I chose it. I made sure to tweet them my gratitude.
Those are the positive customer service experiences. Unfortunately, I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with companies who think you are disposable. To them you are just another customer and they can easily find another hundred if they lose your business. There is a saying that goes something like this: “When something good happens, you tell one friend. But when something bad happens, you tell ten.” With the popularity of so many social media outlets today, how do you think that pans out? Ten people can turn into a thousand pretty quickly.
Today I had the joy of going all the way up to a store director (again) over issues unresolved in a local shop. Some of their employees, including those in customer service and checkout lines are downright mean and spiteful to patrons, to the point of using foul language and mocking customers. When I went to air my grievances, I encountered that manager who felt I was just another number, not a valuable profit to his store. Meeting after meeting I never heard anything along the lines of, “we apologize”, “We will correct this and make it right”, “terribly sorry for the inconvenience” or any other simple words of contrition that could have made things right and let me know they take these matters seriously. Instead I was told, “I never heard these things”, “you are the only one to bring this up” and, worst of all, “You still sleep at night.” Imagine my frustration walking out, knowing nothing I said meant anything to them. (P.S. As much as that whole paragraph probably sounded eerily close, it wasn’t Wal-Mart)
Thankfully, for every company that provides inferior customer service, there are others that go above and beyond, like World Market, Lenox and CleanItSupply.com. This is the part where I should tell you that I work for CleanItSupply.com, but I am also a customer. I order many of my household cleaning supplies from the company website. I am currently living in Germany where my husband is stationed, so I work remotely, but I can tell you that I work for a great guy. When I call in to discuss work, the CEO, Dan Dillon, always asks about my kids by name, how my husband is and what the weather is like here as well as many other random topics. He’s a great guy and that trickles down to his employees. Excellent management breeds excellent employees and our company is a fine example of that. As I mentioned before, I buy my cleaning supplies from CleanItSupply.com and anytime I am unsure what product to buy for a specific cleaning task, I simply call their toll free number. I am always connected with a friendly, helpful customer service rep. One of the employees I have had quite a bit of contact with is Patti. Whenever I speak with Patti, she is happy, positive and on top of her game. More recently, my four year old used poop (yes, poop) to display his artistic talents on our walls. Patti was particularly helpful in suggesting a product that would completely remove the artwork as well as the fragrance that came with it. Best of all, she did it with the kind of peppiness you don’t often hear from someone discussing the cleaning of poop from walls. If you think I’m biased, don’t take my word for it. Call 1-800-998-3295 and speak with one of our reps; you can even ask to speak with Dan Dillon. Our CEO takes orders! Where else do you get that kind of service?