January 24, 2008

Look at what’s happened to me

*Update on my Customer Service Rant*

I received a third email from the Internet Representatives at Home Decorators, and they will be making a “one time” exception and sending me replacement hinges for my piece.

I’m not sure what made them change their minds but I have to think that those of you who took the time to email them might have nudged them in that direction.

And as I think back on this experience I do feel bad for the customer service people who I had to deal with. They were handed a policy and told to follow it. It’s not really their fault that they were given a roadblock to good customer service but the company needs to understand that when someone decides on a policy, that it affects those that work for them. This creates opportunities for bad customer service that frustrates the customer service representative because they feel their hands are tied because of “policy.”

But what if you gave your employees free reign to make a customer’s day? Starbucks calls this “Surprise and Delight” and it is a hallmark of their customer service philosophy. If a customer is not satisfied, they will often go the extra mile to make things right because they know that customers are forgiving if a business admits a mistake and makes things better.

So, kudos to Home Decorators for making a “one-time” exception. Let’s hope that someday, going the extra mile is the norm rather than the exception.

The title of this post was from an 80′s song. Can you guess the song?


  1. Believe It or Not, Joey Scarbury, 1981.

    Good for you for getting an exception to customer service (vs. exceptional customer service). One of the bloggers I mentioned (A Deaf Mom Shares Her World) was on the news about her Steak ‘n Shake incident. I’m still negotiating with the Nightmare in Norway folks.


    Comment by Becky — January 25, 2008 @ 4:59 am

  2. It’s the Theme from the Greatest American Hero, right?

    Comment by croutonboy — January 25, 2008 @ 10:11 am

  3. Starbucks is often good with their customer service. Once, before children, I was on my way to work and stopped for a frappucino. The barista was chatting with a customer who she knew well and was holding the customer’s 18 month old son – who managed to reach over and lock out the cash register. Oops. They got started on my drink while they tried to get the register fixed (they ended up having to reboot it), and it was just getting online as they handed me the frappucino. I was getting out my wallet when the barista waved me off. “No, the drink’s on us. Thanks for being patient.” It made my day, and I still remember it.

    I’m glad you FINALLY got the customer service that you needed!

    Comment by Deanna — January 25, 2008 @ 10:37 am

  4. You know, if I was up at 5:00 am like Becky I could be getting some of these.

    Wait – I WAS up at 5:00 am. Why wasn’t I reading blogs?

    Oh right, vomit.

    Comment by Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah — January 25, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  5. How cool that they made that “one time exception” although I wonder how often they are told to absolutely refuse unless someone makes a big fuss in which case make them feel special and say it’s a “one time thing” to placate them. I often feel i’m being placated with things like that but in the end who cares as long as it gets fixed.

    Comment by Amy — January 25, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  6. Good for you!

    Starbucks service is hit-or-miss. Goes with the territory of having 15,000 stores. You can’t train everyone the way you’d like to.

    Comment by Rattling The Kettle — January 26, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  7. Please never forget that it’s not the fault of the customer service rep. NEVER forget. Now, a really good rep will say, “I know this is frustrating and I don’t understand it myself but I’ve done all I can do and I will absolutely make your concerns known to the people who do make the policy. I’m really sorry that I can’t fix this myself.” Getting a rep that good is rare but it does happen. Getting yourself some back up in the form of other letter writers is the best way to get action, as you have proved! However, a grudging “one time exception” is still a load of hooey that won’t get me patronizing any of their establishments any time soon. Thanks for the heads up!

    Comment by Kizz — January 26, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

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