One Bad Experience Inspires Customer Service Gut-Check

All it takes is one grouchy employee to inject bad mojo into your otherwise good day. And provide a stunning lesson in how NOT to serve your customers.

It was a gorgeous sunny morning when I dropped my car off, like many times before, to get the oil changed and tires rotated. The service technician who was at the desk barely grunted to acknowledge my presence, and it didn’t get any better from there. He was surly and made me feel like I was intruding on him as he stewed in his bad mood. And he did absolutely nothing to show that he appreciated my business.

To be honest, I wanted to take my car keys back. Did I really want this cranky guy working on my car? Would whatever was causing his sour disposition distract him from tightening the bolts on my tires, or using the right kind of oil in my engine? Was I confident in the job he would do?

I wanted to call the shop owner – a great guy whose workers are usually top notch – and let him know that this particular technician was giving his service center’s reputation a black eye. It hardly mattered that I KNEW the shop usually delivered a wonderful customer experience. This one person, this one time, was damaging the brand. I wanted to impart to the owner that, if a brand new customer wandered into his shop that day and experienced what I did, they might not return. On the other hand, I most certainly will, because I knew this was an anomaly.

Sadly, this sort of customer service – customer disservice, really – is not unusual in today’s business climate. For whatever reason (and there are many, ranging from improper training to high stress to dealing with an impolite public), it seems many in service industries don’t strive to do the minimum, let alone go above and beyond what’s expected of them.

That’s why it stands out when you ARE on the receiving end of stellar customer service – say, on cruise ships or at upscale department stores or even at Chick-fil-A. In those places, employees make you feel welcomed and valued. They smile. They’re interested in meeting your needs. They seem to like where they are. For goodness sake, they CARE!

What’s more, in the same way one bad employee can bruise a business, one very good one can create for it a positive reputation.

As I thought about my predicament at the shop, I began to think about another group of technicians: my coworkers at The Network Support Company. We’re very fortunate to work for a company that greatly values delivering excellent customer service. It’s always our goal to make sure our customers feel valued. Even more, especially in our business – where we’re working to protect their valuable and mission-critical data – we must always inspire confidence. Therefore, our technicians – our people on the front lines – hold important positions. They are the face of our company, and, even in the most challenging circumstances, they’ve got to be positive and friendly and professional. They’ve got to show that we appreciate their business, and that we’re dedicated to serving their needs. Delivering exceptional customer service is the most basic thing we do, and it’s non-negotiable.

In future blogs, we’ll take a deeper dive into TNSC’s philosophy on delivering excellent customer service.

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