Posts Tagged with "customer service"

No Pleasing Some People

November 8th, 2007 at 2:08 pm by Mark
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     “Hey, Mark, I need a small project done by 2PM.  Can you do it?”
     “Sure,” I said assuredly.

     But that was early this morning.

     “Hey, can you help with this other thing?”
     “I have a 2PM deadline on the first one,” I tell them.
     “It’ll only take a minute.”


     Back on track, an hour later.

     “Hey, Mark?  I need you to hold up while we send you some more specifications.”
     “Okay, but… we’re running out of time here.”
     “It’s nothing major.”

     An hour later, I get the new information and have to sart over.

     “Hey, Mark, can you do something else for us?”
     “Look, I spent two and a half hours off, and I’m running out of time here.  You need your first project at 2PM, right?” I ask.
     “Yeah, but this is more important right now.”

     Another hour later, I’m back on track.

     “Hey, Mark.  This other guy over here needs some software installed.”
     “I can’t,” I told him.
     “Why not?”
     “I don’t have time, since you need this done by 2PM,” I explained.  “But I can do it after that.”
     “Yeah, we have to have that.  But if you can’t do this for us, then we better find someone else to do all of it.”
     “Well, you could, but I’ve already done this, that, the other, and spent an hour and a half on the first thing you asked for.  If you be patient, then I can get you taken care of.”
     “Yeah, ok.  Well, we need that by 2PM.”
     “Great… talk to ya then.”

     Back on track.  It’s 1:15PM.  I have forty-five minutes to finish.

     “Oh, but, Mark, we really need…”
     “Okay, do you need your project by 2PM?”
     “Yes, absolutely!”
     “Okay, I’m trying to finish it, in the next 45 minutes, so if you could just make a list of what all needs to be done and e-mail it to me, I’ll be happy to knock that out promptly at 2:01PM.”
     “Yeah, well, we have to have this, too.”
     “I can’t do both right now.  Both are very involved projects, and I need to finish this one by 2PM.  In 45 minutes, I’ll do whatever else you need.”
     “Well, that’s just not acceptable.  Haven’t you ever heard the customer is always right?”
     “Yes, and if you ask me to complete a task by 2PM, I’m going to, if you’ll allow me to.”
     “Oh, yeah, well, I think we’re just gonna scrap the whole project and find someone els to do all of it.”
     “Well, I could certainly do them, but I think perhaps you guys need to prioritize your needs a little better.  Here it is with forty minutes to spare, and I’ve only been able to work on a five hour project for about two hours.  I can get it going, but I can’t do it and talk on the phone and do all of these other things.  If you can bear with me for forty minutes, I’ll get you all taken care of it.”
     “All of it?”
     “Your project at 2PM, and everything else by 4:30.”
     “That’s not acceptable.  You said by 2PM.”
     “Yes, sir, for the original project.  All of these other things are peripheral, and taking the necessary time away from that project.”
     “That’s not acceptable.  We’re going to find someone else!” he yells as he hangs up.

     I call back.  “Ya know, there is the matter of your bill.”
     “You didn’t have the project finished by 2PM.”
     “No, but you contracted my time to do it, and proceded to use that time to finish several other, smaller projects.”
     “Apparently, our time isn’t important, Mark!”
     “Excuse me?” I monotoned in disbelief.

     I do the impossible.  I do a good job.  And above all, I treat my customers with respect and proceed to my duties in a professional manner.

     “So you’re not going to pay me?” I ask.
     “Why?  You didn’t get the job done.”
     “No, but I got three others done for you in the time where I was supposed to be finishing a project.  I explained repeatedly that I couldn’t get the project completed by 2PM if you continued to come to me with other, less important requests.  You said that these were just as important, and I stopped to complete those tasks, as well.  I am not a time traveller, and apparently, that is what you need.”
     “Yes, we do.  So f$*& you, Mr. Steel!  We’re finding someone else.”
     “F$*& ME?  Apparently, sir, you have a problem with my performance, though I fail to see how that could be, considering all of the assistance I’ve offered you today.  Perhaps you should find someone else.”
     “Don’t f$*&ing cuss me you piece of sh….”

     I will not walk away empty handed, and then sit there to be insulted and screamed.

     A little respect is never too much to ask.

     Funny that it’s now 2:06, and neither their projects nor their additional side tasks are completed.  I wonder how long it’s going to take the next guy?

     [ And if you’re said customer — who pretends to be my employer — do you realize that I QUIT?! ]

Fortune Cookie Nazi: A Slap In the Face

October 18th, 2007 at 2:27 pm by Diva
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I am sad to say that my addiction to Chinese Food was abruptly halted as a result of the ongoing battle with the Fortune Cookie Nazi.  He won, I lost; no MSG, salt loaded, sugary goodness for Diva.  Dammit.

So, I come home from a business trip and OG tells me that while I was gone, she had went to said establishment to partake of take-out as her man had taken ill.

She went to the self serve bar, I remember so well.  She filled her to-go boxes with treats of all kinds…

She went to the front to pay our friend the Fortune Cookie Nazi…

“You need-a any sauces today?”  He asked.

“No.  I don’t think so,”  she politely replied.

“Well, you must-a take the fortune cookie,” he tells her.

A light bulb went off over her head.  She knows first hand that I’m not kidding when I say he just won’t give me a fortune cookie.  That he has an inner drive within his deep dark soul, which keeps him from simply dipping in and giving me my friggin’ cookie. 

What’s wrong with a brother when he won’t even share a 5 cent cookie?  He would give me a truck load of sauces, chop stix, but no damn cookie.   All I want is my cookie!!  Why can’t you just give me my cookie!!!

I’m going to go rock back and forth in the corner now.

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Fortune Cookie Nazi Wins Battle, Game Over

September 14th, 2007 at 2:01 pm by Diva
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I just hate craving that damned chinese food from that damned yummy place over here by the office

I mean, I get a craving for it and I decided that, despite the fact I know that evil ass munch won’t give me the fortune cookie without a square off in the middle of the parking lot, I was going to go have me some tastey morsels of saucy goodness.

So, as usual, I go in, get my little styrofoam container, proceed to the buffet of happiness, load up my choices and go to the register to pay.  I set my container on the scale, as they charge for buffet to go by the pound.  This is where it the ugly gets on.

So, everything seems to be going smooth.  I’m mentally preparing for the fight for the fortune cookie.  I intend to win this time. 

“You need sauce or fork?” he asks me all smug like.

“Nope. But I want a Diet Pepsi,”  I tell him.

“Diet Pesi!” he calls out to the chick at the waitress station.

She totes it over and sets it on the counter as he rings me up. 

“That be $4.62,” he tells me.

UH OH!  Houston we have a problem.  Diva don’t carry cash.  Just something I don’t do.  It’s way too easy to use my debit card to have to fool around with dollars.

This ass munch “only takey the credit cawd fo ova fi dolla.”  Hasn’t he seen that VISA commercial that shows the world is officially going plastic???

Still yet, I try to slip it by him.  I pull out my debit card with VISA logo and push it toward him.

“We only take cawd fo purchase ova fi dolla,” he reminds me.

“Look guy, I don’t have any cash.  Well I have a handful of change in the bottom of my purse, but not enough,” I tell him as show him my empty wallet.

“You always can get another drink take wif you,” he tells me.

“Uh, no. You can run my card or I’ll have to leave it,” I tell him, now pissed.

“Well, I not running cawd.  You get cash, come back,” he tells me.

“OK, fine!”  So, I walk out the door.  No lunch, no friggin fortune cookie, and definitely no balls to tell him what he could do with his no useless carton of to-go.

God Bless Taco Bell.  They’ll takey my debit card for an eighty-nine cent bean burrito.

A Customer Service Triumph

August 6th, 2007 at 11:04 am by Mark
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     When I came back into the country five years ago, I was pretty sick of renting movies at Ballbuster (and a few other places) because they were usually staffed by teeny-boppers who were more interested in playing Playstation games behind the counter than actually helping anyone.  I figured if I could “cut out the middle man” and actually get the movies I wanted, it’d make things a lot more simple.
     I took the plunge, signed up with, and couldn’t be happier.

Netflix, Inc.     While living in DC, it was easy.  I could drop my returns in a government maildrop, and the very next day, I’d have a fresh DVD.  After moving back to Knoxville — my hometown — things got a little worse.
     Certain Post Offices in Knoxville just suck.  They lose things, don’t deliver things for weeks, hold onto things, send them back “Addressee Unknown,” and a multitude of other, more destructive, handling errors that make me wonder if they’re not getting their staff from a soup line somewhere… and God knows there are plenty in this burg…

     I’ve had one particular movie out for quite a while.  I finally watched it a few weeks ago, and dropped it in the mail with three others around July 22nd.  Two arrived back at Netflix on the 25th.  One arrived back 26th.  One still hasn’t arrived… Meanwhile, three more DVD’s were shipped out to me on the 25th and 26th, but I still haven’t gotten the bloody things.
     Imagine my surprise earlier today when received e-mail notification that the three they’d shipped to me had been received back at Netflix…

     I called Netflix Customer Service — for the first time in ages — and spoke with a rep named Mary Ann.  She went through the usual steps, verified my address, and found that the DVD’s had actually looped from the Post Office.
     “Typical,” I told her.  “This post office blows… If you look back in my history, you’ll notice every shipping problem I’ve ever reported was from this specific place…”
     “You know what, you’ve been a good customer for a really long time,” she said.  “Nearly five years.  Wow!”
     We talked a bit more about the problems, and found that the new Netflix policy allows them to go after a specific Post Office on behalf of a customer when there are more than three incidents within a ninety-day period.  Good news!
     “While we’re waiting for problems, and I sincerely hope you don’t have any, I’m gonna knock 25% of your charges for the next few months, and give you a couple of vouchers for extra DVD’s,” she said happily.
     “Are you serious?” I asked.  It clearly wasn’t the fault of Netflix.
     “Well, I wouldn’t do this for a customer that’d only been with us for three months, but like I said, you’ve been a good customer for five years, and you deserve a little extra something,” she explained.
     “Wow!” I exclaimed.  “I really appreciate that!  Thanks!”
     “You’re very welcome!”

     My complaint wasn’t with Netflix, and I had questions. She understood my questions, answered them, gave me a number of things I could do to assist in rectifying the situation and then went out of her way to give me a few courtesies for being a long-time, loyal customer.
     Now, seriously, how often does that happen when you call up with inquiry?
     And how could I not refer other people to them given that sort of experience?

     Really, customer service has sucked almost everywhere for a while now, due in no small part to the cost savings of setting up middle-of-nowhere call centers with completely untrained staff who don’t know the product or technology and simply aren’t used to dealing with people.  And foreign outsourcing only makes that sort of thing even worse…

     Fortunately, Netflix has US-based call centers filled with polite, friendly and knowledgable staff who are truly interested when there’s a problem.  That’s almost unheard of these days.  (Well, unless you’re dealing with one of my companies — heads will roll over poor Customer Service)   

     As a representative of her company, what Mary Ann portrayed today was a business with a proper, correct and reputable mindset.  It’s no wonder they’re the biggest and brightest, even though there are several more inexpensive alternatives.
     95% of the DotCom start-ups out there (and cellphone carriers, service companies, fast food, etc. etc. etc.) believe in attracting “New Business” all the time.  They utilize Blitzkreig customer service and Viral marketing which ensures that they sell “one” of everything they offer to every person in the world, and move on to the next customer. 
     High customer turnover isn’t good for anyone; the methodology is entirely incorrect in any business, and especially bad for a Service company where solid customer relationships are crucial for maintaining long-term, residual capital.  Regular, established customers are the ones who continue to come back, refer new business, and stick with you through the lean times.  They’re your best marketers, and they deserve to be treated with a little dignity.

     Netflix, very obviously, gets that.  It’s refreshing to see that they instill those values in the Customer Service reps, as well.

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Star Wars Helpdesk

May 9th, 2007 at 4:51 pm by Mark
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     Alright, so it’s old … I haven’t seen it before …

     And, obviously, now I can’t use the I-D-Ten-T thing anymore, either… Kinda sucks, since RTFM is common knowledge, and I just lost PEBKAC last month