Good Customer Service

After replying to elbarto’s topic about bad customer service, I thought I’d see if there are any stories about the other end of the spectrum. Are there any out there? I have my one of my own, which I will now share.

I work in downtown Minneapolis, just down the street from a little bagel shop. I’ve patronized this place for going on 2.5 years and just the other day realized that it is almost perfect. Their food is great, they have a wide selection of coffees, it’s clean, and above all, their customer service is excellent. They’ve had the exact same staff for over a year - fifteen plus employees! Do you know how amazing that is for a food service business? It’s unheard of. The people walk around with smiles on their faces, they’re friendly, efficient and they’re not afraid to joke around. The manager blends in with the rest of the employees - I didn’t think the manager was ever around because he does everything his employees do!

Anyway, I realized how great this place was one Friday on my way to work. When I arrived in the office I immediately sat down and wrote a glowing and enthusiastic letter to the owner. He’s since given a copy to each employee and called, personally, to thank me.

They’re not perfect because their prices are too high. But what do I want for downtown Minneapolis? Ain’t gonna happen.

There’s an Italian restaurant near me that treats every diner like a cross between long-lost relatives or visting royalty. I don’t mean grovelling, I just mean they seem genuinely pleased to see you.

They bring what you ordered. In this town, that’s not so common! And as an added bonus, everything on the menu is wonderful.

The waiters don’t hover, but they are attentive to empty glasses, etc. They also don’t hustle you out when you’re done…and it’s a small (two room) establishment.

The prices are higher than, say, The Olive Garden, but nowhere approaching what I feel they deserve to be paid for such excellent service.

I am a walking advertisement for this restaurant. I bring visitors there, I introduce friends to it, it’s the place my family wants to go when they visit. I’m great advertising! And I pay THEM! I don’t think anyone should underestimate the value of good service.

Oh, and I echo Canthearya’s recommendation of letting stores know you’ve had good service. You’d be surprised how few people take the time to pass along some praise.

Would telling us the names of these places be a violation of the rule against advertising on the board? Moderators, any opinions?

I mean, I may never be in downtown Minneapolis again, but if I was and I wanted a bagel it might be nice to go to a place that had good service.

I think I posted this in the Mundane December thread, but I’ll post it here again.

Last Friday, I had to call the company that holds my car note. I missed my November payment, and had to do something, or it was going to go to collections. The woman I spoke to absolutely bent over backwards to help me. She was so freaking nice I couldn’t believe it. She was one of the people that you write letters to supervisors about. Made me want to cry.

And the lady I talked to at the phone company today was really super nice, too.

Two of them in a week. Can’t pay the bills, but damn, I’m getting good service!

As someone who works for the public, THANK YOU for acknowledging that we aren’t all bad! We bust our humps to please people and it irks me when people complain (yes, I know that there are bad salespeople). I know that I’ve mentioned in previous threads that I’m firm with customers (I don’t believe the customer is always right because so many of them use that as an excuse to walk all over you…the only tine I’m firm with them is when they try to do that) but I DO make an effort to be nice and go out of my way to please the customer.

Once, a customer asked to speak to my manager when I was done with her hair. I panicked and wondered what was wrong. It turned out she wanted to tell her how happy she was with me. She liked my work, how nice I was, how I answered her questions patiently and just enjoyed being at the shop. Heh…she even told her to give me a raise! :)I was on cloud 9 all day long.

No, stupid, it’s a boat!

I’m going to sound like a lush here, but… one liquor store I go to when I asked about a pear brandy called for in a recipe actually gave me a small bottle of an alternative to try because they were concerned about how expensive the liquor I requested was (the alternative was great by the way). Another that I happened to visit right after a big thunder storm had their credit card machine wiped out… the guy in front of me had about $50 of wine… the owner just wrote his name and phone number down on a piece of paper and asked him to settle up next time he was in (I asked the owner and he was not a “regular”).

MaryAnn’s post reminded me of the time I was leaving a restaurant and asked at the hostess stand if I could speak to the manager. They seemed really upset until they heard me tell the manager that the waiter had made the meal one of the best we had ever had.

It is much more fun to make the boss aware of good service than bad (I do make them aware of bad service, but complements are much more fun to give).

It does feel great to compliment people on their service. Makes their dang day! You can just see it on their face.

torq, I don’t think it’s a problem to post the name of a place if you’re making positive comments about it… The bagel place is Bixby’s Bagels in the Pillsbury Center, corner of 3rd Avenue and 5th Street.

I can’t believe I didn’t tell the story about the best customer service I’ve ever had. This is an amazing story. El Hubbo and I had just finished a rough day at work (for both of us) and decided to go to my favorite pizza place, Old Chicago in Apple Valley (southern suburb of Minneapolis). We had an excellent meal, a couple of beers, and some great conversation. It felt so good to blow off some steam. After my first beer I had to “powder my nose”; on my way to the ladies’ room I passed our waiter, who was talking with another employee. We’d been joking around with him earlier (can’t remember what it was about), so on my way past him I did some playful sparring, dancing around like Muhammed Ali. He laughed and sparred back…

When the meal was over and our glasses were almost empty, we asked for the check. The waiter said, “No problem.” and came right back with the man he’d been speaking to earlier. “This is my manager, so-and-so”, he says.

The manager says, “Just wanted to let you folks know how nice it was to have you in our restaurant tonight. Your meal is on the house.” and shakes our hands.

This was over a year ago and we’re still in shock. Now that’s customer service!

Two things come to mind.
First of all, there’s a group of friends that I have dinner with a couple of times a year. (Should be more than that, but it’s hard to find time.) Anyway, we have gone to the Olive Garden three times in the past year. Two out of those three times we have stayed until they were closing, just talking, catching up. At no time has anyone there gotten impatient, acting like they wanted us to leave. In fact, they check on us regularly, to see if we need refills, or anything. It’s really nice to be able to do this without feeling like we’re in the way or something. (Which reminds me, I need to write a little note to the manager.)

The other thing kind of amazes me to this day, and it happened several years ago. We were in Toys R Us at the height of the Christmas shopping season, looking for a doll for our daughter. We found the kind we wanted, but there had been some with Christmas dresses on them, and those seemed to be gone. So we asked a young man who worked there, just to see if the ones on the shelf were the only ones left, fully expecting him to say yes, in which case we would have bought one of those.

He not only checked for us, but later when we were still in the store, he came and found us, bringing one of the dolls that he had found somewhere on the wrong shelf.
I would have been impressed with that level of service in that kind of place anytime, but they were so busy that night, I was amazed.
And, yes, we did tell the person in charge.

I went in a store & the clerk took pencil & paper & wrote out what he said. Sent me to another clerk who did the same thing. I guess the owner told them Im deaf & that’s how to handle it.

Such little things like that, that hearing people take so much for granted, really mean a lot.

I was traveling with two small children. My oldest got car sick traveling through the mountains and vomited on her blanket and pillow. When we stopped for the night at the Hampton Inn (Somerset, PA), I asked the receptionist if there was a laundry room available. She said no and asked why. I explained to her my situation, and she said that she’d personally wash and dry the stuff.

The next morning, we had a freshly laundered pillow case and blanket sitting outside our room.

I wrote a glowing letter to headquarters and hope they passed it on to the kind woman who helped me.

You’re not going to believe this, but I swear it happened! I was at Jiffy Lube getting my oil changed and as usual the guy comes out and says “blah, blah should be changed every blah, blah months” like their policy is. I think it was to get the coolant changed or something. I figured “Hmm, yeah it probably is about time for that.” so I agreed and initialed on the appropriate space on the form and sat back to wait for him to finish. Well he comes out a few minutes later and says “You know what? I checked that fluid for you and it’s still clean and you don’t need to have it changed after all.” So I got out of there for the cost of the oil change – EVEN AFTER I’D APPROVED THE PROCEDURE! I was totally floored, I mean, how easy would it have been for the guy to go ahead and do it anyway, or even worse: NOT do it and still charge me? I was too stunned at the time to say anything to the manager, but I did write a letter to the corporate office, only they must have been using old printer paper or something, because they’d moved and the letter came back to me :(.

Another more recent one was that my wallet had been lost while I was on vacation and since I was flying on an “E-ticket” I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get back on my plane without any ID. I called the customer service line and since I still had my flight info someone was able to make a note to my account and I was able to check in and catch my plane with the bare minimum of hassle. (I had to have my bags x-rayed before they’d check them is all.) I did write letters to the airline because I know without a doubt they could’ve made things REALLY ugly if they wanted to, but they didn’t.

Similar car story - I made an appointment at a dealership for some routine maintenance. A week or so before the date I had noticed that one of the headlights was out, so I told them to replace both headlights too (figure that if one goes, the other one is not far behind).

A few hours later, I got a call from the service department - the guy explained that the headlight wire had just come loose and the light was okay. He actually suggested that they probably shouldn’t replace them. They could have just charged me. Or replaced them anyway. Either way, I’d never had known.

And, I agree, the best thing you can do is thank them and the manager.

" I lost a wallet once and when I found it there was more money in it than before."