Thursday, December 29, 2011

Customer Service

When I tried to get our furnace inspected last year, I had a heck of a time! I made three appointments with three different companies before they showed up. I understand that emergencies come up, especially in Colorado when a big storm comes in. I understand that things happen, but what really frustrated me was that the first two companies did NOT call me to let me know that the service person wouldn't make it. I called them after waiting an hour.

Well, this year, I didn't even bother with either of the first two companies!
However, I couldn't remember which of the other two on my list that I get from the landlord I had called. So, I called the one at the bottom of the list. I made the appointment for 8 o'clock this morning. At 9, I called to see where the guy who was supposed to come out was. I didn't get in touch with anyone, so I left a message. Then, I called the other company on the list. They managed to get someone out by 10! I put their number in my phone, so I don't waste my time next year.

Anytime I need anything, this is the company that I will go with. There prices are a little higher, but I have been able to count on them for good service. It isn't just that the other guy didn't show up; the thing that really bothers me, is that I wasn't contacted! The first company did call back and the guy had forgotten to tell the other guy. If we forget all the technology that will allow you to sync your calendar with someone else's (on the computer or on the phone or both), there are still paper calendars. When I later received a call back, the message said "I totally spaced and forgot to tell ____________ about it. Give us a call back if you want and we can come out some other time." Really?

If you are going to be in business you need to focus on customer service. Customers are what keep businesses in business. I understand that circumstances arise. I understand that, in truth, the customer is not always right (sometimes people are just upset and get carried away). I understand that mistakes happen. However, when customer service is still key. Contact the customer that is waiting on you to reschedule an appointment, do not just assume they can wait. Contact the customer and apologize (this does not mean owning up to "I totally spaced"). Do not offer to have me call back if I want; give me a reason to call you back.

Have you recently had a poor customer service experience (no names please)? What about a really good experience (you can leave names for this one)?