Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 18, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – October 18, 2004 – I’ve worked in sales for over twenty-five years and while I may not know everything about selling, I do now a thing or perhaps two about service. Service is sort of like common sense – sorely lacking within the business world.
I’ve had an on-going problem with a certain credit card company who isn’t VISA since June. The problem is not of my doing, but I’m the one suffering the aggravation, and being spoken to like I’m a dunderhead by someone who is probably not much older than twelve. I had a problem with this same company a number of years ago and was treated equally badly by their customer service staff. The error was also theirs.
They neglected to change my mailing address and I was the one who called to see why my bill (which was now late) had not arrived. At the time I cut their card up and mailed it back to them. I’m going to do the same thing again. I was lulled into a false sense of security by one of their silver-tongued representative who assured me that their level of service, which admittedly had been less than superlative in prior years, was now unsurpassed in the credit card industry. Like a TWIT – I believed it. Now I know better.
The problem is that they don’t really care about my business. They won’t care that they’ve lost it and their records will show that a raving middle-aged woman (me) was highly annoyed when they last spoke with her. I took it upon myself to chase down their problem and sort it out. I will get a modicum of satisfaction by cutting up their credit card and life will go on.
I had another interesting experience within my own business this past week. A well known central Toronto real estate company had a property listed for lease. I had out-of-town clients who were interested in leasing it for three years. We went to see the house on two occasions and I then prepared an offer to lease and faxed it to the listing real estate agent.
The owner who currently lives abroad was in transit to Toronto, so my clients extended the time frame on the offer to the 17th of October to keep the deal in play. Saturday came and I paged the other agent to see what the status of the offer was. No reply. Sunday arrived and I paged the other agent twice. No reply. The offer had now officially died. I had no idea whether the offer was ever presented to the home owner or not. Real estate regulations prevent me from speaking with her directly. I do know that the listing agent of that property (who incidently is very successful if you measure her achievements by money earned alone) is incompetent, rude and not serving her client well.
However like the aforementioned credit card company, she simply ignores her obligations and life goes merrily on its way. Some of us recognize top-notch service when we receive it and we also pride ourselves on delivering the best service possible to our clients. With this thought in mind I had to take my car in for a tune-up today. I’m attending a seminar all day tomorrow so I dropped it off tonight at Toronto BMW on Lakeshore Blvd. Ata, the Assistant Service Manager took down my particulars and offered me their shuttle service back to my home.
He asked how the car was performing and if I had any concerns. When I mentioned a light on the dash board he asked me to accompany him out to the vehicle to show him exactly what was happening. He assured me that my car would be ready by four o’clock tomorrow, but that I could arrive up until seven o’clock in the evening, in the event that my course took longer than I’d anticipated. Now that is “service”.
Pay attention credit card company and irresponsible real estate agent. The public does notice and appreciate quality service. The only person you’re fooling with your lacklustre service is yourself. What goes around – comes around and one day when it’s important to you, someone with the brains of an amoeba and the attitude of Attila the Hun will be waiting on you. I’m only sorry that I won’t be around to see the show.