Friday, August 13, 2010

Customer Service

Customer service is a concept that escapes many people. You can usually tell when you are working with the owner of a business because most of them want to make sure their customers are taken care of and will provide better service or stay late to help you out. Many times an employee could care less about your experience.

This reminds me of a story I heard when McDonalds was finally able to expand their chain to Russia. While interviewing applicants, they asked one woman what she would do if there was a long line of people waiting. She said she would just ignore them until they went away. I guess years of Communism had conditioned her to not give a crap when it came to her job.

I don't want to turn Chaka's World into a consumer reports or a gripe session, but I thought I'd contrast a couple different experiences I had last week.

We have a dishwasher that we bought an extended warranty for since we go through more dishes at our house than most restaurants. It recently broke, so we called the manufacturer and they said that they would send out a local repairman who works for them. I scheduled the appointment for Monday morning but he never showed up until Monday evening. He didn't have record of the purchase or warranty which I was previously told he did. When we finally got things taken care of we still had to pay more than the prior quote for the service call. It was not a horrible experience, but I wasn't impressed either. At least our dishwasher works again.

The next morning I noticed that my Moen shower faucet was stripped and wouldn't change between the different water settings. I Googled their 800 # and called them. I spoke with a real person quickly and she looked up my name and address and asked what the problem was. She said they stand behind their products and she would Fed Ex out a new shower head to replace the old one. That was it, not even any shipping fees. I was impressed, especially since they had already replaced the shower head years ago for free and it was not a workmanship issue, but rather due to our hard water.

I love it when someone provides great service. Many times I will ask to speak to their manager. Many employees hate hearing this request because it means someone is going to complain about something, but I like letting managers know when their employees are doing a great job and offer superior service.

This topic reminds me that we went to Panda Express a couple nights ago and the selections my wife ordered were pretty sparse and didn't look too fresh. The manager started dishing it up but then decided to throw it in the garbage and had his cook make up a fresh batch of her selections. He offered us free drinks since we had to wait a few minutes longer, but I appreciated the fact that he valued the quality of the food more than just getting us through the line fast.

What are your experiences with customer service? I'd especially be interested to hear any good experiences you've had. What are some of the businesses you have been impressed with over the years?


Raine said...

There is this little place in my hometown that all the high school kids work at. My dad ordered the fish and when they brought out the orders they said the fish would take a little longer. We were nearly done with our food when the fish came out. We were quite angry so my mom asked what took so long. The girl said that they had forgotten to make it. The absolute honesty just made us all forget how angry we were. She probably doesn't even realized what she diffused just by her honesty.

Kelly said...

I am not sure if this is an urban legend or not but have you heard the one about the old man who returned a set of tires to Nordstroms and they refunded his money with no questions asked? That is their policy I guess.

Sorry about your dishwasher. Appliances are always a hassle.

Lisa Loo said...

We are in the process of trying to buy a new home.
As the last owner was leaving, due to foreclosure, the septic backed up in the basement causing quite a nasty mess. A plumber and a restoration company came out and fixed the problem.A broker bought it and it sat vacant for quite some time.
When we were getting a home inspection done, I also ordered a mold etc type test. It came back completely clean. I know this is a long comment but I was so impressed at the good job that this restoration company did in a house that they knew no one would be living in! And such a great job, that a year later, nothing else nasty was growing in the corners! I love knowing there are companies and people out there like that.
Thanx for letting me get that out. We haven't told anyone around here that we might be moving and its hard not to be able to share some of the good stuff that is happening!

Cheeseboy said...

Like you, I have had both. You may have read about my great customer service at McDonald's last week.

Angela said...


I'm Angela from Moen. I'm so glad to hear you had a great experience with our customer service team. I hope your replacement product is holding up to our high standards.

Have a great day!

Tom said...

Angela, Thanks for proving that I didn't make up this post. I got the replacement head. Thanks!

Order taking services said...

Customer service is about giving customers what they want or perhaps it’s about satisfying customers some times they will say that it is about making customers happy.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed Moen found your blog. That is service!

Just thought I'd throw out a BAD example, and wouldn't you know it, it involves the post office. Bet they won't find your blog.

A friend went to get a passport and was standing in line in back of another woman who had been back 2 or 3 times in an attempt to get all her ducks lined up. The woman at the counter (the only one caple of performing such a delicate task) saw the 2 women in line and put out her "Back in 30 Minutes" sign while they were standing right there, even though they were within the stated business hours and she had just returned from lunch. You're kidding right? Nope.

Reservations call center said...

Best customer service implies practices that bring in and keep clients, your relationship with your customers will make or break your business..