I give good customer service! I have been complimented many times by customers surprised at how far out of my way I went to help them. I also work in a bookstore. If I can’t find a book, I will call distributors, publishers, have our used books people search their store, whatever it takes. I will take your number if it looks like it might take a while, and yes, I will call you back. I don’t really consider this to be doing anything exceptional (it’s business!), but customer reactions are often gratifying.
We have a local supermarket with lovely service. They are slightly more expensive than Safeway or Albertsons, but they have more specialty items, always local fresh produce and freshly baked breads, and they have a comments board for customers to request items. When I hadn’t seen a particular candy I liked in a long time, I wrote them a note, and when I went back a few days later, they had posted my note on the board and written underneath that they would get it in as soon as possible. And they did, too.
Being I work in Tech Support, providing service to our customers is part of the job. If the customer is nice and doesn’t have an attitude, I’ll do what I can to see they are satisified with the resolution based on the options I have. If the customer is being a jerk I will give them the bare minimum of help I can and won’t bend any rules. As for places I have received good service
Best Buy-I brought back a failed printer on day 14 of the 14 day return. No box, manual or driver cd as I thought I would swap it there. They were out of the model I had. They let me take a different model that had the same driver cd, take the cd from that one and put it with the bad printer and let me take home the new less expensive printer with a refund of the difference on my devit card.
Jet Blue airlines- They are a new airline that has JFK as their hub. All the seats are comfortable and roomy with DirectTV at every seat. They give you headphones to use on the flight no charge and they let you keep them. I flew on them to Florida they had drinks and snacks no food, but for what they charge it’s a good deal. Also my mother and I are large people and they accomidated our needs without a hassle.
I just had a terrific customer service experience with Pier 1 Imports. A couple that I know just got married and registered there. They were having their reception this past Saturday afternoon. I did NOT feel like braving the frozen Arctic tundra to go shopping. So I called Pier 1:
me: Do you have X item on this registry list?
Pier 1 Guy: Yes, I think so.
me: Great. Could you pull X quantity off the shelf, gift wrap it and take my credit card number over the phone?
P1G: sure, no problem.
He also took my phone number and called me back an hour later: they were out of the item I requested. He suggested another item in a similar price range. I approved the suggestion, he ran my card through and gift wrapped. I only had to stop in, sign the receipt and trot my happy ass to Walgreen’s to get the card. I was in Pier 1 for a total of 10 seconds and the couple were very happy with the gift I gave but never actually laid eyes on! So I highly recommend Kyle at the Tallahassee Pier 1 store.
In my experience, it’s the locally-owned and operated businesses which offer the best customer service. Generally they are willing to do more “favors” for you with little consideration of some random arbitrary corporate policy.
Not I. I am currently in a deep funk here at work. Pray you dont have to talk to me.
YaYa’s Chicken in Flint, MI. Great fast food. Fast fast food. Grilled Chicken, not KFC, with a unique marinade…yum!
I order food about like Sally from “When Harry Met Sally”. I’m accustomed to people screwing my orders up. (They are human, I am difficult, live and learn.)
I have yet to experiance a screw up from YaYa’s. Ever. I do things like order the shredded chicken pita with the lettuce on the side, the pita on the side, and the chicken and dressing together. They don’t even have the high tech computer monitors, they just tell each other the orders and the orders get done. Usually before I have finished paying. Love it.
I would nominate P.C. Richard and Son as a store having great service. They answer and explain painstakingly all questions you ask, and they service reps seem to actually know what they are selling. It is a shame that I do not buy more often from them.
I have always had good customer service from Bell Sympatico. Last time I called, I had been unable to get online for about 2 days. The guy I talked to said the local server had been buggy, and to just wait another day or so, and it should all be ok. Half an hour later, another guy calls me (Anthony - he had a really nice voice…:)) and tells me that the local server had been fixed, and he wanted to know if I was able to connect. I said no, and he told me to change the phone # to dial (I know, I know, but I can’t afford cable or DSL this year…) and random other settings, then told me to try again. I did, and it worked. He actually CALLED BACK to confirm! I call that good customer service.
Midwest Express Airlines
This company is the best I have ever seen. I refuse to fly any other airline, unless it is absolutely necessary(i.e Midwest doesn’t fly there)
Their planes are all 2-across leather seating, there is enough legroom for a man of my height (6’4"), the meals are quite good and are served on china, with real silverware and a cloth napkin. Complementary wine with meals, I could go on and on. Their customer service is absolutely the most incredible I’ve experienced. If it can be done, they will do it for you. I just can not say enough good things about this airline.
My State Farm insurance office gives the GREATEST customer service I have ever had. I have never actually spoken to our official “agent” (whose name is J. Jeff Corwin, which for some reason always cracks me up.) The office manager, Esther, however, is fantastic. She is a little old lady who LOVES her job. Whenever I call, if she can’t answer my question right then, she says she’ll find out and call me back. And she ALWAYS calls back! She sends me whatever I need, right away. If I forget to send something in, some papers or a payment, she calls and reminds me BEFORE it’s too late. It’s like I’m her only customer. She knows my name, my husband’s name, which cars we drive, when we got married, where we live, remembers that my mother died several years ago, asks how I’m doing, asks how my Dad is doing (he uses them too), knows which members of my family also use them…it’s amazing. She actually CARES. When we got married, she called to see if we needed to add or change any insurance (she’s a great salesman!) or if she could do anything for us. We always get birthday and Christmas cards, signed personally in ink by her and the agent…I could go on and on. I love this woman…I feel like I know her! She is a HUGE asset to her agent. In fact, I get the feeling that she pretty much runs the joint and the only thing she needs the agent for is the name on the door!
Anyway, little old Esther is the epitome of good Customer Service. I think a major part of providing excellent customer service is making each person feel as if they are the most important thing, as if they are the only customer. Esther does that to a tee.
A couple of years ago I encountered outstanding customer service in Wegmans, in Ithaca NY.
A friend and I were in town for a visit, and stopped off to see their new building (they had recently built a new store a few hundred yards down the road from their old one, due to structural problems with the old one).
We stopped at the coffee bar to grab a cup to drink while we shopped. My friend ordered an espresso with lemon. The coffee bar attendant asked if he wanted it as juice or zest. He thought for a moment and asked for zest. The attendant said “OK, I’ll be right back.” She walked from behind the coffee bar, over to the produce department and came back with a lemon, then zested it right in front of us. Made a couple of really nice curlicues, too. And she was nice and pleasant the whole time. Great service.
In the florist department, we were looking over the bouquets and picked one out for my grandmother. It had no price on it, though, so we asked someone in a green apron what the price was. It wasn’t her department, so she didn’t have a price for us, but she called for a florist and then waited with us until the florist arrived. The florist told us the price, which we thought was reasonable, so we said we’d like to buy it. She then quickly replaced several of the flowers in the bunch because she didn’t think they looked fresh enough, and sold us the bouquet. Again, she was pleasant, courteous and very helpful.
I don’t think either event was out of the ordinary as far as the staff were concerned, but after living in Boston for a few years, where you mostly get zero eye contact from service people, and the “I can’t believe you expect me to do my job” attitude, that day in Wegmans really stuck with me.
I also got/get great service from State Farm. We had them in Tennessee and kept them when we returned to Michigan. Always had excellent service!
I get great service from the staff of my local health food store. They too are dealing with a new “big guy” relatively close and they are quite small; however, their service more than makes up for their size and sometimes incovenient location.
Nordstom consistenly offers top-notch customer service, especially their Individualist department.
Bell Atlantic/Verizon has, also, given me nothing but the highest quality customer service.
I’d like to add something to this discussion:
I work internal tech support for a division of Marriott. Mr. Marriott’s philosophy is very simple: Take care of the associates and they will take care of the customers.
It is much easier to offer good customer service when you feel like you are appreciated by the company for which you work.
Oooh! Walt Disney World. Most detail oriented, people loving place I know.
We stay on site. Its worth it for the maid service. The first time we went we bought a rubber iguana the first day. The remainder for the trip we played iguana games with the maids. We’d leave Chester crawling along the sink in the morning and return to find him exploring the curtains in the bedroom.
The second trip my little sister brought all of her Mickeys with her. She has 64 at last count. The maid found a new creative way to arrainge the Mickeys on the right bed every day, always welcoming her home. Not just set on the pillow, but balanced in the rafters in a Mickey pyramid, hanging from the bed rails. She had a mock wedding on the bed one day (top hat Mickey and wedding Minie, every one else as guests…)
They don’t have to put creative power into thier jobs. They really don’t have to care about creating scenes out of a child’s stuffed animals. But it really did add to the experience.