Friday, July 20, 2007

Low Expectations

Entrepreneurs, I've got some words of wisdom for you: good customer service. If you provide this from the get-go, you'll be heads and shoulders above the rest.

Maybe I'm becoming too cynical, but when it comes to purchasing/exchanging goods or enlisting services, I have low expectations. This serves me well because it increases my chances of being pleasantly surprised and lowers my chances of being disappointed.

I don't expect the lady at the drive-through to get it right everytime. Sampling new foods is adventure eating! Nor do I expect all the sizes/colors to be correct in the clothes I ordered online. Hey, maybe puke green looks better on me anyway. I didn't even get bent out of shape when the poncho I returned for exchange, became a return for full refund. I probably didn't need it anyway...

I have come to find it humourous that everytime I take my animals to the vet, I have to make sure they have the correct 'amy', since apparently there are two of us with very similar ID's. This came to my attention when they inquired about my dying cat. "What dying cat?" I asked with a puzzled face. "Oh....uhm,....aren't you at 135 Oakvale?"


"Oh, sorry."

I'm sure there's a silver lining to it. Maybe I can inquire about that other amy's bill.

Low expectations serves me well, but I do have my boundaries. What really pushes my buttons is when I have a problem, a defect with the product, poor service, etc. and have to make an exchange or inquire over the phone and I am met with apathy or worse, disdain.

Whatever happened to "the customer is always right" ? More likely, it's an attitude of "what do YOU want? why are YOU bothering me ...*sigh* only 30 more minutes till 5:00."

Ohhhh...I try so hard to be calm, to take names. Today I've waited at home all day for the repairman to fix our dryer. This appt. was made days ago, online with e-mail confirmation and ALL pertinent information correct. When I finally looked up the phone number (funny how they never give you a phone # anymore ) to inquire, the conversation would have been laughable had I not been so angry.

Not only did they not have our service order in their system, they had my in-laws phone number and P.O. Box on file, tagged for this service ....from six years ago. The young lady on the phone informed me that had the phone number been current, the repairman would not have had trouble reaching us.

This is where I had the mixed emotion of giggling .... and pulling this young girl's ponytails.

I calmly explained that all info on the e-mail confirmation was correct, the number, st. address, time of appt., date set, etc,, etc. AND that I had been waiting all day. (Why is their time always more valuable than mine?!) I refrained from saying that the company would receive an invoice from me for the $59.00 service call.

Anyway, I have HER name and all pertinent information. She now knows their online customer service system has a glitch and needs addressed. She knows that I was an unsatisfied customer and will be taking my business elsewhere.

My moral for the day - don't expect much. It'll keep your blood pressure lowered and when you DO meet those rare gems who provide service with a smile, you'll feel like you just won the lottery ... well, almost.

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