More about customer service

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Last week I talked about customer service, some good and some bad. That led me to think of many more situations and I also heard from some of my friends about their experiences.
A few weeks ago we entered our place in Florida and encountered the usual problems with turning on Comcast cable. It hadn’t been turned off and nothing was disconnected, but it never works after eight months of non-use. There’s the usual phone call and waiting on hold for help – as long as 20 minutes! A new signal is sent to fix the problem. It doesn’t work … more waiting. Then another 25 minutes to get the situation resolved. They send a new signal and then we see if it works. No!
The usual frustration sets in. I should just learn to expect the same result, but always hope for better service. I spoke with several reps but they just said they had done all they could! The last time it took four days for the TV to come on. I know why Comcast or Xfinity, as it likes to be called now, is notorious in Florida for poor customer service.
Then there was the situation of the HDMI cord. It was necessary to hook up a TV to the box which supplies the power from Comcast. When we received the new hookup kit for a new TV there was no cord in it, so we returned to the store to get one. The response from the man at the desk was they didn’t have any. My husband asked, “When will you have some?” The guy just opened a drawer where there were none, looked at it and said, “I don’t know, whenever they arrive.” My husband continued, “I drove 20 minutes to pick this up. When should I come back?” The fellow repeated, “I don’t know.” More rotten customer service from Comcast. I’m still waiting to hear a good story about them from someone.
About good customer service – I have a friend named Jill who is in Florida now and received a Golf Buddy watch. Now, it’s the kind of thing that has a GPS on it and it tells you on the golf course how far you are from the green or from the water or from the sand. This is a very useful item, especially when you’re on a strange golf course. It’s somewhat pricey and a recent gift from her husband, so when she left it in her golf cart, it was a big deal and the subject of some heated comments from him.
When she realized it was gone, it was nighttime and the golf course was closed. Her first call the next morning was to the pro shop and, yes, they had it. She retrieved it the next day. What great customer service and honesty for those working at that golf course.
This leads me to my Bed Bath and Beyond story. We had purchased a small metal stand with three shelves in it. Of course, it came in a box with a lot of screws and directions. I thought I would do this myself, not challenge my husband with it. That’s not his thing. I worked and worked but the screws didn’t quite match up. I cut my finger several times on some of the metal edges and I had to take it apart twice because I had some parts in the wrong places. They all seemed to look alike to me. I finally turned it over to my husband. He had the same problems – the directions were not really clear. We decided to return it since we had both cut our hands on the metal shelves.
When we arrived at the store and described our problems, the lady at the return counter told us they would be glad to put that together. Seriously, that was wonderful! We must have looked so inept! In about 20 minutes one of the other employees returned it, ready to go, no charge. I didn’t see any cut fingers either! Great customer service. As we were ready to walk out of the store I saw a man with a nametag, which said manager. I immediately asked, “May I speak with you?”
You could see the look come over his face. He was thinking, oh no, now what? But I told him the story about how we had such trouble getting the shelf together and were helped by the employee in the store. A quick smile came to his face. He said they would be glad to put any of their products together, anytime. Really great customer service.
Then there’s my friend, Lorry. She told this story: “The warning light came on about the tires on our car. I made an appointment at the tire center where they put it on the rack to check the tires and pulled a screw out of one of them, then patched it. When we asked what we owed, they told us, no charge. I was so surprised. I will definitely go back and recommend this business.” Then she added. “I took donuts to show how much we appreciated their good service.”
They provided her good service and she rewarded them with a nice surprise. See, this can work both ways.
So, some people try to help and others just don’t care. I suppose some see customer service as a thankless job. Lots of people are impatient for help with whatever their problem is. It’s a special calling and a good fit for only a few! I wish you good customer service today and always.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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