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Customer Service – Packing for Ice

July 14, 2010
With the temperatures topping ninety five, our brand new, just delivered refrigerator sat idle with the lights on but no cold air circulating. We placed an urgent call to Sears trying to trouble shoot the problem. There was no time to wait as temperatures rose and we were leaving our house for an all day event with a full refrigerator of food for our son’s graduation party the following weekend. It’s always in times of emergency the integrity and value of a company comes to light.

One hour later, six different individual conversations, and the only solution being to wait 36 hours to have the unit replaced, we understood how this national company really handles client crisis – not very well.  Since my husband is the corporate operations manager for a locally owned, multi-million dollar company who prides itself on quickly and effectively solving customer issues that involves shipping, and sometimes reshipping products, their response to the immediateness of the problem failed with him. Since I pride myself on addressing membership or event issues immediately, their response was equally unbelievable to me. We both decided our professional expectations for how we would have handled this issues were much different than theirs. 

When you work hard to create a high quality company – complete with quality products, quality service, quality staff – and an expectation by the consumer that you back everything you promise, it is unbelievable, and at times, unnerving to deal with companies where quality and service aren’t a priority. No matter what type of company a person is running, the quality of their customer service can matter much more than the quality of their products.

Today’s blog is to remind you to think about your customer service policies. When faced with customer complaints, do you have procedures to remedy problems immediately? Does every employee understand those procedures? If you are a sole proprietor have you thought about how you would handle a client crisis personally and corporately? Are you prepared?

Before you have an upset client calling you on a hot summer day to complain about a major problem, consider the cool options you have in handling a tough situation before the call is made. Everything rests on corporate image and many times that means handling of customer problems. Resolving a customer complaint effectively and quickly can secure a client for life or send them packing (for ice).
One Comment leave one →
  1. Becky permalink
    July 16, 2010 10:34 am

    I feel your pain and hope you finally received some successful intervention! I found it interesting when I finally received my washer and dryer here in Tennessee that Home Depot had hired a SELF-EMPLOYED local company to deliver it, set it up and make sure I knew how to operate the machines. They were extremely interested in my response to their quality of service, making sure they did their job well, cleaned up, and I knew how to run my new machines properly – even running a full cycle before they left. KUDOS to Home Depot for using this method of service – it paid off for this home owner!


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