Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good service, bad service and chocolate . . .

It's been a while since I've had a rant about customer service so here goes . . .  

When are the people who want our business going to clue in that we can buy a loaf of bread or set of tires or box of cereal just about anywhere but chances are we are going to buy from the company that gives us good service. 

I can list several area businesses that I will not set foot in because of horrible treatment or service in the past.  So what, you say?  I'm not alone.  Many people do the same thing.  They won't put up with poor service so they move on.  AND they tell all their friends about the horrible treatment or service they received.  That's what. 

It is so easy to give good service really.  Much easier to keep a customer than to try and win one back or find a new customer to replace the one you've lost.

Here's my GOOD SERVICE story for this week.

Last week we went on a picnic with the boys.  An impromptu picnic calls for a trip to KFC, of course.  When we got to the park and unpacked our dinner we quickly realized there were missing items including no condiments, plastic ware, napkins, plates or bottle of pop.  And the chicken itself was not up to the usual yummy standard. 

So I did what I sometimes do . . . I sent an email to Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Two days later I received an email from them.  It read like a form letter (although I could be wrong) BUT what it did do was offer an apology and tell my what actions they were going to take.  The next day I received a phone call from the manager of the local restaurant.  We had a simple discussion about what had happened and we were offered a store credit.  I accepted the apology and the store credit.

We had our picnic the other day.  The service was excellent.  The food was excellent.  And nothing was missing. 

And here is what went right.  I didn't go back into the store and scream, rant and rave.  I wrote an email.  I made sure I was fair in everything I said.  I was polite.  I made my point.  And in return I learned that Kentucky Fried Chicken stands behind their service and product.  They responded to my concerns quickly.  They made me feel like my business was important to them.  And they offered a resolution that would assure I'd be back.  Yes, my first trip back would be to use my store credit.  But I now have a good feeling about this company and I know I will come back again. 

Now, for my BAD SERVICE story.

It is not a hugely bad service story.  Just an annoyingly bad service story.  General Mills put out a coupon for a free box of their new chocolate Cheerios.  The coupon was only good for June 21st.  So I went to one of grocery stores -- Real Canadian Superstore -- that I shop at very frequently to pick up my free box of cereal and purchase Hal's groceries for the road.  I went to the cereal aisle and was disappointed to see there was no chocolate Cheerios left.  But in the next aisle I spotted an employee with a t-shirt on that had a slogan proclaiming that she was there to help me.  I asked if there was any more boxes of cereal anywhere in the store.  She didn't know.  I asked if she could find out.  Her "help" was to tell me I had to go all the way to the front of the store to ask at customer service.  I think she shouldn't have been wearing that t-shirt.  So I went back to the front of the store  and asked for a box of cereal.  I was assured that there was none left.  I asked if there was any way I could get a rain check or if they had made any arrangements to honour the coupons at a later date.  No.  So I left.

Next stop . . . Metro.  I went to the cereal section and found the shelf where the elusive chocolate cheerios should be empty.  So I went to customer service which is very close by.  The lady in customer service found the gentleman working in the grocery department and he SHOWED me where I could find my cereal.  I purchased all the rest of my groceries at Metro.  What a simple difference in the way I was treated.  I will remember that for quite a while.

And now for the CHOCOLATE part of my rant . . .

Chocolate Cheerios are really tasty and I will be buying them again.

And that is the end of my rant.