Handling Complainers

Yesterday morning, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up groceries for Mom and a few things for myself.

When it came time to check out, I spied one un-busy register and made a beeline for it.

That’s when I noticed the “20 item maximum” sign hanging over the checker’s head.

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How to Win Customer Loyalty

Do you know what might be one of the best companies in the world, at least as far as customer service?

Expedia.

Now this isn’t a paid endorsement, merely one person’s opinion.

Expedia is awesome!

Recall that Domer and I just returned from our failed trip to Ireland.

One of the hotels we’d booked (for a four-night stay) was through Expedia.

When we decided to come home early, we spoke with the hotel desk clerk and were told they couldn’t refund our payment because we’d booked through Expedia. Then they provided us with phone numbers to call upon our return.

Since then, I’ve been trying to get my money back.

Aer Lingus, the airline, turned me down. But the parking company kindly refunded me and so did the first hotel we didn’t stay at.

All I was waiting on was the abbreviated stay at our last hotel.

Yesterday, I received a call from Expedia’s Customer Service Department, wanting to know who we’d spoken with at the hotel desk and whether we’d received a receipt.

Neither of us could remember a name; we had no receipt.

The Expedia rep said the hotel told them they had no record of our leaving early.

Uh-oh. I started hearing the faint sound of Cha-Ching again.

This morning I was going to call the hotel and beg the manager to substantiate our claim.

It proved unnecessary.

Expedia just called and said they’d honor our request for a refund — whoo hoo!

I told her the only thing I had to prove we’d left early was our stamped airline tickets, copies of which I’d be glad to forward.

No need, she said. Your refund will arrive in seven to 14 days.

Happy Dance!

You know, it’s easy to see why companies with superior customer service are successful. Customer service is one of the tenets of business. It’s what enables people to return goods without hassle, speak with a real person over the phone, and feel prices are fair and treatment is gentle.

I think this quote sums it up perfectly:

There is a spiritual aspect to our lives – when we give we receive – when a business does something good for somebody, that somebody feels good about them!

— Ben Cohen, Ben & Jerry’s

“No Problem” . . . “Here Ya Go”

Time for a little quiz, OK?

1) You’re clerking in a department store when a customer approaches and asks you to help her reach something hanging way up high. You do, she thanks you and you say, “No problem.”

Right?

Wrong! Your proper response is simply “You’re welcome.”

Thank you and You’re welcome — they just go together, y’know?

Same thing for flight attendants and waitresses. Customer asks for a refill, you provide it, he thanks you and what do you say?

“No problem.”

No problem? It better not be — that’s your job, isn’t it?

Let’s say it together — “You’re welcome.”

How about this one:

2) You’re a teller at a bank. A customer comes in, deposits a sum of money (doesn’t matter HOW much), and you complete the transaction by handing him a receipt and saying, “Here ya go.”

Right?

NO! This time, it’s “Thank you.”

Work with me here.

3) You’re a receptionist at a doctor’s office and you’re on the phone when a patient walks in. You ignore her until you’re finished with your call.

Right?

Of course not! Acknowledge her presence with a smile and a nod, complete your call as soon as possible, then apologize to the walk-in for making her wait.

Whatever happened to simple manners?

Who’s training employees these days?

Am I the only person bothered by stuff like this?

Admittedly, I’ve not worked in all of these service-type jobs, but common sense alone tells me it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to those you’re interacting with!

Fellow workers and the boss, to be sure, but especially paying customers, clients, patients, whatever.

C’mon, people, unemployment is pushing 10% nationwide (and in many states it’s 14%). Isn’t that a big enough pool that you don’t have to resort to hiring those who are crass, inept, complaining, and downright rude??