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How much does customer service matter?

August 18, 2009

Yesterday I spent an hour cooling my heels at a local business office (which shall remain nameless). The sad thing about the waiting was that I had already been there once, waited around until I couldn’t wait any longer and then left. I came back hoping things would be moving more quickly,but they weren’t. By the time I finally got what I needed I was more than a tad upset. When it comes to patience with others I do fairly well unless I can see that there isn’t any reason for the delay. The only reason they kept me waiting is because they were slower than molasses, slower than the seven year itch, slower than Grandma Moses….well, you get the picture.

Even though that’s aggravating I can top that story. My son went in a store the other day and the person waiting on him was texting someone on his cell phone while talking to my son! Can you believe it? And they wonder why they are losing customers.

A few months ago if you walked into a car dealership sales people would trip over themselves getting to you. This past weekend my husband and I walked into one and couldn’t find anyone to talk to us. It seems the “Cash for Clunkers” program is working so well they were all worn out! When we finally found them they were all in one office talking, laughing and generally goofing off. In fairness to them when we failed to get their attention and walked back to our car someone did follow us with a brochure and hand it to us in case we wanted to come back when they got some new models in. They were completely cleaned out of the model we inquired about.

I realize that sometimes we have to wait for things and sometimes things happen that keep us from giving good customer service but it seems to me that a business that really cares about its customers will let you know they care.

This morning I got a phone call from someone who worked for a corporation up north. I am a grant writer (one of my many hats) and I couldn’t get the link to work on their web site. She impressed me for several reasons. First of all, when I emailed her about the link I must have typed in my email address incorrectly, it kept bouncing back. She was determined to find me so she decided to call. Low and behold I had left the area code off my number. She figured out that it was Kentucky and then tried different area codes until she got me. Now that’s what I call good customer service! Not only did she get me the information I needed, she proved to me that it mattered to her what I thought about her company. You can bet that the next time I buy paint (paint supplier) it will be her brand.

Thank you Lord for people who care about people and about doing a good job!

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