Thursday, June 25, 2009

Customer Xceedpectations

Blink:
Where have all the customer service departments gone,
Long time passing,
When did all the customer service departments expire,
Gone long time ago.

Read On:
I am moving tomorrow. As a result I have experienced the whole enchilada as it relates to customer service this past month. I have spent an enormous amount of real time (including hold time) on the phone as I shut down/transferred utilities; shopped for the best, most cost effective communications package for my new residence, coordinated movers/auctioneers, etc. Even asked for a glass of water at a restaurant I was checking out in my new neighborhood that I never received.

My reflection? What has happened to customer service in America? It absolutely amazes me how poor customer service has gotten over the years starting with working the automatic prompts you experience (e.g., press one for English, two for Spanish, three for the language of your choice) and hold times to get to a live person. When you do get a live customer service specialist or consultant (whatever happen to representatives or agents?), most exude an attitude: “Why are you calling me today?” I also enjoy when they close the conversation with the statement: “Did I provide you with adequate customer service today?”

Now I would like to present my customer service awards for 2009.

The Big Loser: Forest City Management out of Cleveland that owns the building I am exiting. On March 3rd there was a water main break that damaged 125 apartments in a building of approximately 350 units. The whole situation was mismanaged from day one. What amazed me the most, was how Forest City ignored the old adage, “Your best customer is your existing customer.” As a result, I am out of here.

The Big Winner: Dell. Yes, I decided to treat myself to a new laptop/docking station for my new home. My initial contact was with their Small Business Account Manger that worked with me patiently for two days to build an affordable unit that met my needs thanks to all their special promotions. The anticipated date of arrival was scheduled for June 16th. My new laptop arrived June 8th. My expectations were exceeded. Dell walks the talk when it comes to customer service. They exercise a term I once coined as Customer Xceedpectations. Every company in the world should model their customer service departments after Dell.

One last thought – I am looking forward to getting back on the phone Monday with Comcast now that I learned my first bill at the new location did not include all the special promotions I was entitled.

1 comment:

  1. The Chicago Tribune printed a quote from me last year about 'I love the genuinely friendly staff at Starbucks in Lemont, IL as it is a treat to stop by in the morning...Why is it that it that an experience w/a genuinely friendly staff is more an exception than the norm'.

    When I tried to share the kudos w/Starbucks corporate staff, it was impossible to give feedback via the website. There is a disconnect when companies do not offer easy ways for customers to complain (or compliment). Complaints are good ways of finding ways to fix and enhance the customer experience.

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