Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Economy bad = service good

Hi all,

I was in the car the other day. I had gotten up early, 4:15am, to run. Then I got home at 7:50 and I had to be at the baseball field, for Luke's game at 8:15. Jump in the shower, run to the field and "assistant" coach the game, while watching my 4 year old, Noah. On our way home, I sighed and said out loud, "I am one tired Mother". Noah pipes up and says, "You mean, father."
Aren't kids great. I laughed all the way home.

Did anyone see Worst Week? I still think it is very funny. My wife is starting not to like it because it isn't fair. But I love physical comedy.
How I Met Your Mother has only been so so this year. Does any one watch Chuck or another show called Life. We like those...and The Unit.

No movies lately. My kids got a hold of my Netflix queue and put all these kid movies on the list. So it has been stuff like Invincible and The Game Plan.

Today's topic.
Has anyone noticed that people in the service industry are actually giving service.
They are becoming nicer, but not just nicer but crazy nicer.

My wife's van needed new tires. I told her that I would go on the computer and look up the best rated tire and she can call around and check on the prices.
I found the top three and she started calling around. After about 20 minutes she said out loud, "Man, everyone is sooo nice."

Did you know that unemployment is up to something like 6.2%? To me this number seems low but it is like the highest it has been in 4 years. So 6 out of 100 people don't have jobs. Okay out of the six, how many people don't want to work? Would you say 3?
So 3 out of 100 people don't have jobs.

What does this mean? Well people are going to be fighting for the jobs.
Meaning, for the consumer things will get better. Service is going to get better.
Remember last year when you wanted to do something in or on your house. It was like a game.
I had a leak in my roof and I called 5 people. 2 of them flat out told me they were so busy they couldn't do a small job like that. 2 of them didn't show up for the appointment.
And the dude who showed up smell like he just smoked a big bong.
"Dude, your roof has this righteous leak dude. My brother has this killer set of tools, I can fix it for you."
Now, if you have a roof leak, not only do all 5 guys show up, they are courteous and don't smell like smoke.
You guys know how I feel about the cell phone companies. I STILL need a new phone. Monday I was like, this is it...I have to get a new phone. I sat down at the computer and called AT&T.
Remember when you use to call them and you would go through about 6 different things. "Press 1 if you are an existing customer. Please punch in your cell number to speed things up". Then you would finally get someone and then they would ask you your cell number. AAARRRRGG!!
On Monday I was talking to someone after one "Press 1".
Then after about 2 minutes into the conversation, he said Mr. Gammichia do you realize that after the 28th of this month your contract will be up and you will be eligible for some significant discounts on purchasing new phones.
I couldn't believe it. I looked around my house for hidden camera. I didn't know what to say.
I asked him to repeat what he just said and waited for the caveat. I waited for the "but" or the catch or the something that was going to make them money. But it never came.
He was just being nice. He was looking out for me. Crazy isn't it.

I went to Chilli's a couple of weeks ago and I had great service. I never get good service there.

Finally service is coming back to the forefront. Something that to me is like breathing. It always has been. But because the past couple of years have been so good, people got lazy.
When no one gives good service customers stop expecting it. They stop demanding it.
So when a roofer doesn't come to an appointment and doesn't call, we call them back and make another appointment.

I am hoping now that service is hear to say. I love being talked to like people want me there. Where is there? Well, it is at the grocery store, it is at the golf course, it is at the foot doctor, it is at Sports Authority, it is at the gas station, it is the restaurant, it is at the AT&T store (crazy, I know). Service is everywhere... at the Ritz Carlton and it is at the La Quinta.

Is it me or have you noticed too?
I know the economy is not looking so good but if this is one of the by products...then so be it.
Have you noticed that you are giving better service. Are you more conscientious of how you are serving your patients or customers?
Well if you aren't then you better start. Who knows maybe it will stick.

That is it.
I know, it was a short blog today. It is my way of giving you good service.
Last thing, some people rated high on the thing. Thank you. It means a lot to me.

Talk to you on Friday,
8 days until I leave to Washington D.C. for my marathon. I am getting very nervous.


Anonymous said...

Interesting you should blog on this.

Our new motto at the office is: Give the best & friendliest service possible to every customer. We actually say this first thing every day. We've always been very keen on this, being in a service business, but with all that is going on in the world, here is why we have kicked it up a notch: People are stressed. A recent CNN poll showed that 4 out of 5 Americans say they are "very stressed" which means that they are set off quickly by anything perceived negative. So, if their food labeling printer falls into a bucket of boiling greens beans (it's always green beans for some reason), they think we are going to give them the lecture and charge them for replacement, after making them wait a few days for the new unit. Instead, we send it faster than normal and tell them we'll eat the cost (1st time offenders) or split it (repeat offenders). They are shocked...and happy (less stressed). The result is our referral business is up, we feel better, sales are their highest ever, and everyone wins.

My neighbor owns an insurance firm and told me just last night that their new motto is: hand holding. He said, "everyone is so stressed, flying off the handle at everything. We are trying to meet that head on with the best customer service possible."
It's an positive result in a negative economy and I'm amazed at how many businesses have jumped onto this, which is great.

As for Worst Week, they started at a "10" went to a "9" and Monday's show probably an "8.5." Still one of the funniest shows on TV and helps keep me from being one of those "stressed Americans."

DE LA O said...

Here in Barcelona Customer service is usually very good and on very rare occasions will you get someone who is rude. It took me a while to find this blog but because I'm an active AGD member I was truly dissapointed in there customer service skills they had to offer to my staff. I run a very busy office and i usually have my assistant call the AGD to keep up my Self Instruction and my credit hours up to date so I can report on time for my licensure here in barcelona. About two weeks ago I had my assistant call there customer service and to her surprise she was greated with an annyoing tone telling her in a very rude manner that NO ONE AT THE AGD SPOKE SPANISH AND AFTER THAT HER CALL WAS DISCONECTED. She had never had any problems before untill now, and when she called again she was greated with the same answer. being the only one that speaks english in my office I will have to take care of it on my own sometime in the next week since I am currently on vacation. I was just wondering if this is acustomed? because were ever I call my credit cards, my bank, my doctor, my cell phone provider they are always albe to find someone that speaks spanish. Does the AGD not have the same Idea in mind? do they not have not one person who is biligual, the idea alone of haging up on my assistant for not making herself understood was very disturbing. Next time I call the DART (self instruction) service line I will make sure to call my self, to let someone out there know that I have plenty of colleagues who are also AGD members that do not reside in the US and would be very greatful for some spanish coustomer service.

Adolfo De La O


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