Posts Tagged ‘customer service experience’

Truly Priceless, The First Customer Service Experience

In relocating from NW Indiana to NW Arizona, we have had to outreach to several businesses.  Once again I realized how truly priceless the first customer service experience really is.



Must Have Internet

My business depends on the Internet.  Having a reputable Internet firm is essential. I did my research and discovered Data-Max Wireless. The frontline person who opened the account and scheduled the service call was incredibly friendly and competent.  Then the service technicians also demonstrated outstanding professionalism from being on time and making recommendations for a better wireless router.

Must Have Working Oven

When we purchased our new home, we knew the built in oven was not working.  Again, doing Internet research product and reviews, I called Attwoods Appliance and scheduled a service call.  The serviceman was on time and again very professional. He only reaffirmed my first customer service experience with the Repair Department at Attwoods.

Unfortunately, the part needed for the 35 year old Tappan built in oven was no longer made.  So based upon our first customer service experience, my husband and I visited the store and ordered not only a replacement oven but a freezer as well. So a $75 service call turned into an over $2,000 sale. This is why the experience is priceless.

Must Have Working Plumbing

One of the challenges in buying a 35 year old home is there will be unforeseen problems.  We had an outside sillcock that would not shut off on a Sunday afternoon.  My husband did a temporary fix and  I called our realtor, Elise Harron of Dirt Road Real Estate for a recommendation. She recommended Truelove Plumbing.

Again, the first customer experience of scheduling the appointment and the subsequent actual service was exceptional.  Having 22 plus years in the plumbing industry, I recognized someone who understood plumbing.  The plumber also reviewed our pump and pressure tank (water storage system) and made some significant recommendations.  We took those to heart and he is coming back to install a new pump and pressure tank along with the necessary cut off value and pressure gauge.

Each of these local small businesses made that first customer service experience delightful and then backed up that experience with competent service personnel.  Unless these firms demonstrate some significant negative behavior, they have earned my customer loyalty and hence my business as long as we live here.

So far we have infused thousands of dollars into the local small business economy.  And these expenditures have all been fostered by that priceless first customer service experience.

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Having a Bad Day – Just Get Over It Part 3

The last two days I have chronicled my worse first time customer service experience ever because I am presuming the bank teller was having a bad day. Well, that is what a couple of people commented and implied I should be more understanding.


In the first posting I detailed this having a bad day customer service experience. The second posting looked at the individual employee and how having a bad day should never be known by the customer. Today’s posting looks to the executive leadership to stop these “having a bad day” interactions.

One of the commenters,  Marc Zazeela, blog made this insightful observation: “I don’t believe in having bad days, bad moments yes.”

What Marc has so succinctly described is changing his attitude.

Executive leadership must work to change the attitude of its employees. This means to hire the right employees:

  • For the Right Positions
  • Using the Right Talents
  • To make the Right Decisions’
  • Ensuring the Right Results
  • Within the Right Time frame
  • Within the Right Environment

This is more than having the 2 Rs (the right people in the right seats) as Jim Collins noted in his book Good to Great.

When customers have the unfortunate exposure to employees who are having a bad day, this rests 100% on the shoulders of the executives. In this worst first time customer experience incident, the bank manager appeared also to be having a bad day and he appeared to care less about what what happening under his watch.

Having a bad day is bad for any small business. Allowing this attitude is even worse and not only should the employee be reprimanded, but should the manager and everyone else on the executive time.

Just imagine how quickly every customer service experience would improve if every manager to executive leadership received a written notice of every customer service complaint as well as a video of every bad customer service experience along with a significant donation to the abused customer.  My sense is those in executive leadership positions would quickly change their having a bad day attitude.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who looks to discover new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses or those who wish to grow beyond their current employees as well as executives in chaos.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.

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Having a Bad Day, Just Get Over It – Part 1


Yesterday I had the worst first time customer service experience ever. I visited my church’s bank to drop off the weekly receipts and the bank teller must have been having a bad day because she:

  • Appeared to be annoyed that she had to wait on me in the drive up lane
  • Did not say hello, good morning or the usual customer service pleasantries
  • Was unable to smile

Beyond her “having a bad day” attitude and behavior, I had to wait over 3 minutes (yes I timed it because I was curious about the customer service) to be served by one of the three tellers. There was not a person in the lobby. All the tellers had their noses in their screens and were oblivious to the outside world.

Having worked in corporate America for nearly 30 years and being trained to always deliver exceptional customer service, I was quite appalled by this behavior. However what I found extremely interesting and equally appalling was the comments by others when I posted this experience on my Facebook wall. A couple of folks suggested to be more understanding after all she might have been having a bad day. Really?

Excuse me for a moment, reality check.

I do not know about you, but I came to work leaving a sick child with the sitter. I came to work sick myself. I came to work with personal challenges as many of us do. My customers never knew outside of my voice sounding not normal that I was having a bad day.

  • Customers do not pay to hear about you having a bad day.
  • Customers do not want to be treated to your poor attitudes and behaviors.
  • Customers do not care about you or your problems.
  • Customers want at least a smile for their patronage.
  • Customers want friendly service especially at a bank where you are holding most of their disposable income not to mention loans, notes and mortgages.
  • Customers want you as the employees to care about them first after all they are paying your salaries.

Customer loyalty is priceless and I mean that figuratively and literally.  The costs to secure new and loyal customers range from 5 to 10 times what it costs to acquire new customers.

Customers who have bad customer service experiences will share those interactions far more readily than the good experiences.

And worse yet, there are salespeople out there attempting to sell their solutions (products and services).  If customer service is lacking, it is far harder to sell the solutions. No wonder sometimes it is hard for salespeople to meet sales goals.

My advice is if you are having a bad day, just get over it.

Suck it up!

If you have truly having a bad day, then stay home or be excused from working with the customers and public.

Recognize the first interaction you have with a customer may be the beginning of a long and profitable relationship or may be the end. You may never have a second chance and that may be the reason you did not get that raise you expected.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is a heurist who looks to discover new ways to guide and support rapidly growing small businesses or those who wish to grow beyond their current employees as well as executives in chaos.  She can be reached at 219.759.5601 CST.


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