‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town, some businesses were a-whirling while others, well, they were busy bringing their customers down. Yes, tis the season that brings out the best in customer service for some, while others seem bound and determined to give the Grinch a run for his money. I’d like to share a tale of two companies – one is definitely on my “nice” list and the other… Here’s hoping they get a lump of coal in their stocking.
Let’s begin with the “naughty” list.
My family, like many of yours, has been busy running around getting ready for the holiday season. After the hustle and bustle of maneuvering through jam-packed malls with other shoppers searching for the perfect gift, the last thing anyone wants to do is go home and cook supper. One night, after what felt like a marathon of shopping that wouldn’t end, I decided to take my family to the local DQ for a treat. We’ve eaten there on other occasions and been very happy with the service. But on this occasion, our treat felt more like a trick, making us think we were in the wrong holiday season.
On previous visits to this exact location, we’d ordered a basket of half fries and half onion rings with no issues. But this time, the young lady taking the order said she couldn’t do it. I started to ask why and some guy then took over the order.
He repeated that they couldn’t provide what I was asking and informed me they could provide a full basket of onion rings and a full basket of fries (not what I was asking for). I explained that we’d ordered half and half before at this location, more than once, and asked why we could no longer do this and asked to speak with the manager. Imagine my surprise when he replied, “I’m the manager. I’m sorry, but we don’t provide half and half baskets. If someone did this before, it’s because they were doing something they shouldn’t have.” Wow, nothing like throwing your staff under the bus!
He went on to explain they couldn’t provide half and half baskets because fries and onion rings are different prices. O.k.? He also didn’t offer any innovative, manager solutions like, I dunno, having me pay the difference or a little more, which I would have been more than happy to do. Mr. Manager seemed more concerned with strutting his title and creating problems for customers, rather than solving them. I told him to forget it and left.
We then went to a competing DQ run by a different owner, explained what I wanted and asked if they could do it. They said they’d have to charge a little more to cover the price difference. And then, a Christmas miracle happened. I received a half basket of fries and onion rings. Cue choir of angels.
And now, here’s one for the “nice” list.
I’ve been looking for a Karaoke machine for my daughter for Christmas. I shopped around online and found one at Future Shop. I went down to my local Future Shop to get it, only to find out they were sold out. No!!!!!!
I asked them if they had any at other Future Shops in other cities. They checked the system and said they had some in stock in Lethbridge (two hours away) and Regina (even farther). When I asked if they could ship one from another store, they advised that they don’t do store-to-store shipping anymore. I said it would really make my daughter’s Christmas and offered to pay for it on the spot if they could. Their reply, “Well, we’ll see what we can do.” A few minutes later the item was being shipped here from Lethbridge. I told them how grateful I was and told them I’d be tweeting out a message about their awesome customer service, which I did as soon as I got home. Pleasing your pre-teen daughter: Priceless.
And to put a gold star on top of this tree, they called me the next day to tell me my order had already arrived and I could come and pick it up. A little customer service goes a long way. Nice!
What about you? Got any good customer service stories this holiday season? Who are your heroes or zeroes?
On behalf of TRIASTRUM, happy holidays. Wishing you all the best!