Thursday, June 04, 2009

Customer Service

So I have been following in the footsteps of my friend Kristin and expecting good customer service from those I encounter. We (Kristin and I) have recently been talking about following up with businesses when their products or employees have not met expectations.

I followed her lead last weekend when I went to McDonald's and realized on the way home that I got the wrong breakfast sandwich. I didn't want to turn around and go back and tell them that they forgot the cheese on my "Egg and Cheese" biscuit because I was almost home and hungry and didn't want to deal with the hassle of going in (in my pajamas still) or waiting in line in the drive thru while the other food got cold (and really, how did they do that? They repeated it like 5 times!). So I added my own cheese, ate breakfast, and then googled the McDonald's corporate phone number. I politely explained the situation, she thanked me for calling and then mailed me a coupon for a free breakfast sandwich! I'm super excited about it!

Adam and I also had a recent issue with our Netflix subscription. We were watching "Bride Wars" (I wonder who added THAT to our queue??) and had to stop it the last 20 minutes because the disc was bad. It just wouldn't play anymore. We logged on and there is a place where you can click that you got a bad disc. You can either send it back and then they will send you a new one like normal or you can ask for the same one again. Well, we wanted the same one again because we wanted to see the end (Adam did too!). Usually the Netflix movies arrive the next day, but I got an email saying that this was going to take a week because it was coming from Texas! So the movie arrived last Friday, we watched the last 20 minutes of it Sunday and then mailed it back and had to wait until Tuesday for a new one to arrive. We were without a movie for a week! That is a little silly. So we called and explained the situation and she sent us an extra movie for free. So actually on Tuesday, TWO arrived. That was super exciting!

I thought of this post today while I was at Barnes N Noble (Sorry Erin, I had a gift card!). As I was checking out, their computer froze. She tried to check me out on a different register, but couldn't because she had already swiped my gift card on the frozen one and it didn't register the card as having a balance any more. I had to wait about 5 minutes while they figured it out and they were very apologetic. I didn't mind, I wasn't in a huge rush and they were very nice about it. They got it figured out quickly and checked me out. The manager was up front working on it and offered me a free coffee from their cafe for having to deal with that. I don't drink coffee and I really wasn't that upset so I declined, but it made me feel good that she did that! Tomorrow I am going to call Barnes N Noble and tell them about my positive experience!

I have always tried to make an effort to let a manager at a store or restaurant know when I have received exceptional service, but it is not always as easy to remember as when you receive poor service. Last year when mom and I took the cake decorating class at Hobby Lobby we got stuck there late one night because the tornado sirens were going off. The manager was super friendly, organized and even served all of us cake from the class. Mom and I both logged onto Hobby Lobby's website and filled out the form telling about our positive experience. We found out at the next class that the corporate office had contacted the store manager and she was praised highly and they framed a copy of our letters for her. She was VERY grateful and it made both of us feel good.

I learned this from Mom who has always made an effort to let people know when she is pleased with their service. When she is in the hospital and thinks the nurses on the floor are going above and beyond, she will bring them bagels and cream cheese and/or write a nice letter upon arriving home.

I am going to continue to try to make positive comments and follow ups when I am happy with service that goes above and beyond. I am, however, going to also continue to follow up when service has not met my expectations because I believe that all of us have jobs and we should be expected to do ours correctly. I can't skip writing IEPs and ignore letters from parents, so I don't think the McDonald's people should be allowed to screw up my order or the cashier at a store be rude!

Do you call places when you don't receive service up to your expectation? Do you call when you receive service above and beyond? It is my new goal to make sure to do both!


Erin said...

It's ok...I get B&N gift cards all the time!

I really was expecting this post to involve a certain t-shirt man with the worse customer service in the world!

The Pifer's said...

Love your blog--found it through Kelly's Korner