|Not all customer service is bad.
We just don’t talk about the good stuff. Until now.
While I am quick to trash Ann Taylor LOFT, because you know, they made crappy clothes and can’t return a phone call, I have personally witnessed extraordinary incidents of superior human interaction I must share. Because as quick as I am to trash the insubordinate, I must pay due to those who know what to do and when to do it, often without even asking.
For those interested in the Ann Taylor LOFT saga, I anxiously await the tailor’s bill for fixing what shouldn’t have broken, to deliver said bill to store for payment. I’ll keep you posted.
But in the meantime, the following folks know what’s up. They are experts in human interaction, and deserve kudos, applause and your hard earned dollars.
1. Enterprise in Clarion PA knows what’s up. Not so for neighboring offices, but those dudes in Clarion are awesome and can talk anybody off a cliff. They did me. When we took #1 to college, driving across central PA through inhumane Route 80, quite possibly the longest, most barren, god-forsaken desolate stretch of pavement E-V-A, our 2-year-old Saturn’s transmission blew. Gone. Car rentals, Saturn, tow truck operators, state troopers, AAA, roadside assistance “would get back to us.” In tears and this close to a divorce, a sweet young thing at Enterprise in Clarion, PA emerged from the chaos. Actually answered the frickin’ phone and talked to us. And helped. Above and beyond helped. Stranded and scared we heard ‘Oh no, we’re sorry. But no, no, we can’t do that,’ then this young ‘un said, ‘Yes we can. We’ll try.’ Then did.
|Just answer the phone. We’ll thank you with loyalty.|
2. Todd Ingersoll rocks. This guy sold us the aforementioned piece of shit Saturn and stood by us, even when his dealership went kaput, we were 2 years into the car, and 350 miles from home. Stranded, pissed off beyond all get out, and ready to axe murder anyone due to robo-phone hell “Press 1 for English” which lead us deeper into hell and no closer away from tractor trailers barreling inches from our side mirrors, or a ride to college, back home, or anywhere near civilization and a bathroom. Desperate, we called the dealership. Who had a real person answer the phone. And gave us the owner’s (Todd’s) direct line – his cell. Who answered his phone. And said he’d take care of it. And did. He got Saturn to pay for our rental, ship the vehicle back home, then bought the car back from us and gave us a great deal on another. I’d buy anything from this guy because he’s not too big to be bothered by us little folks.
|Customer service heals broken hearts.|
3. Bagel Delight delights. After a beloved dad died recently, his elderly mom stopped by the local bagel shop and said, “I’m X’s Mom. He ate here everyday and I want what he got but I don’t know what it was.” Owner Eunice didn’t hesitate: “Toasted everything with cream cheese; I’ll get it for you and I’m so sorry. I miss him already.”(This happened YESTERDAY.)
4. Our local pharmacy, Drug Center, delivers door to door upon request, stays open late when needed, is completely confidential in a small town (no easy feat), and sells ink from their own printers. A lady came in looking for ink for her printer, and when Pharmacist Don told her he didn’t sell ink, he then asked what kind. Happened to be what he used, and he gave her an extra cartridge from his office printer. Just like that.
|Customer for life.|
5. Kid #4 wrote a letter to YoMega, a fancy-pants yo-yo company in Massachusetts. I didn’t know he had, until the letter was returned due to no zip, no stamp. He didn’t share the contents; he just told me he wanted to tell them a few things. A few weeks later, #4 got a package from YoMega with a personal note thanking him for writing, yo-yo insider info, a t-shirt, coupons, and extra yo-yo strings (highly needed in yo-yo land). Here’s the gist ‘cuz I can’t for the life of me figure out how to link to the actual letter: “What a pleasure to receive your letter!” blah blah blah yo-yo stuff he loved but I don’t understand, then, “Thank you for writing, and enclosed please find goodies for your loyalty. Good luck in school and keep yo’in!” YoMega wrote back to a 10 year old boy who didn’t know where to stick a stamp. He’s now writing to NASA. We’ll see what happens there.
There’s a million places like these in towns everywhere, and many more in my little corner of the world. Businesses that value customers because they value human beings. Us customers just want to be heard. And know that our concerns matter. So for all our complaining about crappy service, I make a point of saying thank you personally to everyone who does it right. Perhaps not as publicly as I should, but I’ll try and hope you do too.
Michelle Saunderson says
Great post. I love to give kudos to businesses that treat me well, especially since they are so few and far between.
Those YoMega peeps are smart. The “toasted everything with cream cheese” brought tears to my eyes.
If you have anything LLBean that may have the slightest tear, discoloration or just worn out, send it back – they replace anything. Brother #2 totally wore out his StormChasers (wore everyday, through thick & thin stuff (literally), doused in biodiesel, melted while welding, etc…)He wrote to LLBean, professed his love for the shoe but disappointed they hadn’t held up to his wear & tear. A few weeks later, viola’ a brand spanking new pair showed up on his doorstep!
Bought a camera at Kohl’s that broke, still under warranty. Rather than shipping it back, they refunded my $! Even better, my son and I got stranded in Caracas,Venezuela with no cash, and a frozen credit card. The rest of the party was delayed and in a hot tub in San Juan. The American Airlines customer service agents took cash from their pockets, hand selected a taxi, instructed the drive to take us to a small hotel. Called to make sure we arrived safely, and picked us up in the morning to bring us back to the airport to meet the rest of the fam. Still can’t believe the kindness shown to us. In contrast, a certain genius husband put the car keys “in a really good place” coming home from the Canary Islands. After 16 hrs of traveling with a 2 and 5 yr old, customs refused to xray any of the 5 pieces to help locate the keys. That’s NY.
Amazing post. Love, love, love letter writers! I like it on paper.
Kathy (p/t writer, f/t mom) says
Kohl’s, huh? Well good for them! And those American Airlines agents should take over the industry. It’s so easy to make the customers happy, but even easier to piss us off. Social media should change that, for businesses that realize the power!
Rob – that letter is on the fridge and will stay there 4ever!!