Speaking of Customer Service

I am always looking for new customer service stories. Good or bad, I love to hear how we are all treated by companies and organizations. These experiences help us learn to provide good customer service to our customers either internal or external.

A few years back, a family member gave me a digital thermometer. It is one of those seemingly practical gifts that turns out to be something you use everyday. It has become essential to our cooking.

But there was a problem. We melted/lost the little plastic cover to the battery compartment. For months we had a piece of tape covering the spot, and the battery would fall out of place, requiring repositioning the battery over and over again.

The other day, as I was wrestling with the device, I noticed there was an address and phone number listed on the side.

I called.

Rachel answered the phone. She was nice and listened to my tale of the missing cover.

“I can send you another one right away. Which color is it? Red? Yes we just need your address.”

I thanked her and immediately got an email confirmation that the little red cover was on its way.

Yesterday I went to the mailbox and retrieved a small brown envelope. After a quick tear of the top, the contents slid into my hand.

It was not the cover that made my day.

Customer Service

What a simple act. What an amazing way to demonstrate to a customer that the call, the part, or the issue was not a burden.

Thank you Rachel for setting a standard for all of us.


Is it Dan?



(Image Courtesy of http://www.comedybunker.co.uk)

I got together with some friends I met during a regional leadership program to serve a local non-profit a few months ago. The day was spent mostly covering ourselves (and some of the walls) with paint, and catching up with each other.

While painting one particularly difficult area, we had four of us cramped in a small stairwell. Having resigned to have paint all over, my new quest became just to simply not step in the tray filled with paint.

The small space was a great time to talk, laugh, and catch up. Somehow we got on the topic of servicing our cars. I started to share a story.

Oh, you should go where we go. The same guy has been servicing our cars for over a decade.

Ok, but why should I go there?

No, you don’t get it. This is service like I have never experienced. I can call and get my cars right in. He always calls when the car is ready, and if there is going to be a delay. The price is always good, and if there is a way to save a little, he makes good recommendations as well.

There was a pause.

Is it Dan?

Yes, yes it is.

I figure it had to be. I have been going to him as well and feel the same way. Amazing service.

About seven years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend. We started talking about our cars. The conversation moved to service. I started to share my story.

We have been going to this one place for about three years now. They really take care of our cars, but there is this one guy who really seems to take an interest in making sure our cars are well cared for and safe.

Is it Dan?

This was the first time it happened. Seven years later it is still happening. People from different cities and different circles, all ask the same question: Is it Dan?

Every time I teach a class on customer service, I tell this story. Many ask me where Dan is, and if he really exists.

The story is true, he does exist. Maybe I changed his name, but that is not what matters. Something else matters.  Are we providing a level of service that is memorable in our roles, our jobs, and our lives?

Are we providing service that is memorable enough that when someone tells someone else about it (and they will tell others), they cannot help but ask one question:

Is it [insert your name here]?

The “I’ll be right there” people

Recently I noticed an interesting group of people. These people interact with those around them in a noticeably different way. These people differ in a lot of ways. Some of them are in business or sales, some provide a service, others are just friends to others.

They have one distinct common characteristic: they are “I’ll be right there” people.

“I’ll be right there” people are people who understand the larger relationships at stake, no matter what their role. “I’ll be right there” people answer the call for help or service to meet a need. “I’ll be right there” people help others despite their job description or their pay scale. “I’ll be right there” people are not put off at your request, they see it as an opportunity to connect with you instead.

Imagine the result when your clients consider you an “I’ll be right there” consultant.

Imagine the result when your customers consider you an “I’ll be right there” salesperson.

Imagine the result when your employees consider you an “I’ll be right there” boss.

Imagine the result when your communities consider you an “I’ll be right there” citizen.

Imagine the result when your kids consider you an “I’ll be right there” parent.

Imagine the result when your friends consider you and “I’ll be right there” friend.

Today, instead of just imagining what it would be like, listen for the next request and simply reply…“I’ll be right there.”