customer service with a smile

November 14, 2008

tis the season to be u-niche

Welcome to customer service with a smile… in doing research for this blog, I saw a lot of articles about how the customer is not always right…  which shows the current attitude which has changed a lot from when I was a kid… when gas stations offered full service, cleaned your windows, pumped your gas (like they now do in Oregon)… Also, I remember that we had a lawyer as our neighbor. He wrote several letters for me to companies who’s products were defective. And the company’s responded with apologies and free products and coupons. Nowadays, however, some companies tend to blame the customer rather than listen to their customers.  Paranoid about being scammed, they miss out on the valuable feedback from people who would like to be loyal customers but who are turned away and off by company policies and personnel who are rude, not available, or unfriendly.

Nowadays, I appreciate companies like Office Depot that offer FREE wireless (why don’t their competitors?). I walked into a Starbucks the other day (I don’t drink coffee), but I was greeted with a big hello… you can sit and be on the Internet there, too, but too many times, you have to pay for the wireless but it is nice, especially when traveling, to have a comfy place to just sit. Barnes and Noble also has chairs where you can sit and read. There are way too many stores where you walk in and feel unwelcome so it is very nice to be greeted and/or treated like they want you there.  There are outlet malls where you can sit and people watch. But sometimes, the security guards can get overzealous and treat customers like loiterers instead of weary shoppers.

It boggles the mind that some innkeepers of $140+ a night properties invite guests to visit but when the customer arrives, no one is home (inns do not have the luxury to have office hours that close at 6 pm, people), the room does not have air conditioning or heat, guests have to walk by garbage cans to get to their room, have to park too far away from their room, the room is not ready on time, guests are rushed in and rushed out, the property is noisy, the breakfast is inedible or scanty (one place limited guests to half a muffin for breakfast), do not offer wireless and other basic amenities and so on…  for more info, see my dog travel blog at celiasue.wordpress.com where I profile pet friendly inns.

I like this article from Entrepreneur… which outlines ways to show customers that they are right… in this economy it is especially important for small business owners and large companies to treat their customers as if they are always right… if you want to succeed in business, that is…if you want to complain, blame and end up bankrupt, go ahead, treat your customers like crap…

http://www.entrepreneur.com/sales/customerservice/article65768.html

Happy customers lead to a health bottom line…

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2008/10/15/sbsk.customer.service.cnn?referer=sphere_related_content

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