Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 10, 2013

ABBOTT: Turns out customer service isn’t dead after all

This week, I had three experiences with customer services. Here are the stories, and then, a question.

At the package store:

I mailed our son a big package this week (nothing says love like a boatload of processed foods) and didn’t have a box large enough at home. I piled all the goodies in a laundry basket (husband’s suggestion) and headed to the package store.

I parked in the lot across from the store, a little distance. I saw the three young people behind the counter, and there were no customers in the store.

The laundry basket was heavy and bulky, and I had to set it on the ground to lock the car. I struggled to carry it in and again set it on the ground to open the store’s door.

The three workers saw the whites of my eyes. Yet they just stood there and watched me struggle.

I went inside and paid the outrageous price for the box I did not have at home (going to be better about recycling).

I couldn’t let it go. After they took my money, I nicely suggested that when a customer is standing at the door with a package, they might want to open the door. All three of them looked at me like I had neon green hair (not a good example for people in their 20s).

OK, let’s say they looked at me like Beyoncé wearing nothing but a panty girdle. (Girdle? No? I give up.)

At the sandwich shop:

I purchased sandwiches for dinner and the youngish-manager directed his even younger-worker bee to put my sandwiches in a bag. He did and I said, “Thank you.”

He said, “No problem.”

Now, I kept my mouth shut, but the next time I won’t.

“No problem” is not the right thing to say. He should say, “No, thank YOU” or “My pleasure.”

No problem implies that it could have been a problem. Giving good service should not be something that puts the server out of his way.

Yeah, problem.

With the appliance repairman:

We had a minor problem with our dishwasher. I called the national chain from which we purchased four appliances on the same day in 2011. On the phone, the helpful customer service representative said, “I can see how not having your dishwasher is a problem. I’m going to get someone out there today.”

What? Did I just hear that? It really wasn’t a huge problem; I am able to wash dishes the old-fashioned way.

The repair man showed up on time and fixed the problem which involved resetting the dishwasher in its cradle. He asked my opinion about where the cover should be flush, against the cabinets or the piece that comes up from the floor. Let me repeat that: he asked my opinion.

Turns out repair was covered by warranty, so there was no charge.

Oh, and did I mention as he came in the front door he saw the vent to my dryer, and said to me, “Can I clean that out for you? I work on dryers and it needs to be cleaned.”

Thought and a question:

My thought about these three encounters is this. There’s an old adage in sales and marketing that if you do something well, your customer will tell one person, but if you do something badly, your customer will tell 10 people.

Of the three encounters, which two will I most likely gab about, and which two will I probably won’t go to again?

Amy McVay Abbott is a freelance journalist and author of “The Luxury of Daydreams.” She can be reached at amymcvayabbott@gmail.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • FREY: An ode to service days gone by There were many times in the past year that I walked by the small glass corner curio cabinet.I often glanced at the photographs from the corners of my eyes as I made my way past the nurse’s station and out the pass-coded locked doors.It is one of man

    August 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Looking out for youth and e-cigarettes Technology, it seems, finds solutions for just about everything. So it should surprise no one that the tobacco industry, under siege for years for marketing and selling unhealthy products, found a way around the anti-smoking fervor through a smoke-le

    August 22, 2014

  • WOLFSIE: A matter of bad habits Mary Ellen and I have been happy together for so long that we sometimes forget how much we annoy each other, so on the trip back home from our recent vacation, it was time catch up on our bad habits.For example, I told Mary Ellen that she is a relent

    August 22, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Life is not all choices There is a post on Facebook that says, “Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible

    August 21, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Reining in unlimited farm subsidies Reining in unlimitedfarm subsidiesIn January, President Obama declared that despite Congressional logjams, “America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for Ame

    August 21, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why government openness matters One of the fundamental lessons of the 9/11 tragedy was that our government carried a share of blame for the failure to stop the attacks. Not because it was asleep at the switch or ignorant of the dangers that Al Qaeda posed, but because the agencies

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Continue work of modernizing courts Indiana’s new chief justice, Loretta Rush, has a lot on her plate. She not only has to preside over the Indiana Supreme Court, but also to modernize the state’s other courts as well.Indiana is well on its way toward bringing courts into the 21st cent

    August 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Mo-ped law long overdue We’ve all seen them on the streets, and their popularity is only growing. Mo-peds have coasted in a legal grey area for years in Indiana.A lack of registration, testing and licensure allowed those without other means of transport to join other vehicl

    August 20, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Quality of life and leaders both matter It was with some astonishment and much disappointment I read in the Aug. 5 edition of the Pharos-Tribune that one of our local city councilmen was quoted as saying that previous efforts in Logansport to use Tax Increment Financing money for quality o

    August 20, 2014

  • RAMPELL: Here comes Entrepreneur Barbie WASHINGTON — Lego’s groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.Yes, that swan-necke

    August 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Does Indiana need a statewide water management plan and an administrator to implement it?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.