The easy part of Customer Service is talking about it. It is harder to remember to keep that smile in your voice at all times. Today has been a Customer Service Themed day.
One of the things that happened today was that I got to cancel two services that were those automatic deductions from my bank account, two of those on-line subscription services. I thought I had canceled one of them. I went on my account page on the website and changed all the right boxes, or so I thought. The way I found out that I hadn't canceled the service is that I opened up my bank account and there was the automatic draft.
Rather than risk doing it wrong a 2nd time, I phoned the 800 number on my bank account statement. I got through to a person in only a minute or two, he did as I asked in a reasonable period of time, and he was uniformly pleasant the entire time. What a nice surprise. The best part was that it didn't sound as if he was reading from scripts. That experience went pretty well, well enough that I decided to move on to the 2nd on-line service that needed to be canceled.
The 2nd service wasn't as gracious. First they told me that I couldn't get the money back even though I wasn't using the service. I blustered a bit. Then they told me I could have half of it back. I blustered a bit more. I asked to speak with a supervisor. I mentioned Small Claims Court. She said that she needed to speak with a supervisor and put me on hold. When she came back, she authorized a full rebate. The entire time we talked, she sounded as if the conversation only had her partial attention and that she really wasn't focused on what she was being told.
Then I had to run to a Big Box hardware store to pick up some ant bait. I get sugar ants at some point every spring. I have a 2nd floor condo. The ants live in the flower beds around the building. About once a year they decided that they want something from inside my house and the ants and I have to re-establish where the line is between their home and mine. The ants showed up several weeks ago. The first effort is the organic treatment. I swept cinnamon up underneath the last siding board and I carefully put cinnamon out in strategic locations in my kitchen. It was very satisfying for the ants to just go away. Who would have thought that something as pleasant as cinnamon could convince a sugar ant to go find someone else to bother. Who would have thought it! That was last week. This morning, they were back. It was time for Chemical Warfare. Which is why I went to the Big Box store.
I walked into the Big Box and spotted an employee. I asked him where to find Ant Bait. He said that I was in the wrong building, that I needed to walk down the hill to their lawn and garden center. So, I walked down the hill. I saw 6 rows of shelves, covered with every sort of nasty chemical. Then I spotted two employees talking with each other. I decided that it would be faster to just find what I needed myself than it would be to break up their conversation, explain what I needed and get them to "help". Most of the time the people working in the Big Box stores don't know any more about their inventory than I do.
As is always the case, these experiences came into my life for a reason. The lesson here is pretty obvious. I had a day that was pretty much a guided meditation on the value of good customer care.