Customer Service

To me it’s the butcher who gave my sister and me a piece of curly parsley we called trees every time Mom went to buy meat. It’s the owner of the tobacco store where Dad bought his pipe tobacco – I picked up a ten dollar bill from the floor and he told me to keep it. Dad made me share it with my sister, who didn’t get to come with us that day. Bummer.

Customer service is the lady at the chocolate store when I sneaked out of grade school after lunch and would give me however much chocolate five cents would buy. No, it wasn’t the nuns, and I respected only a few teachers who knew we were there to learn.

If there was ever a day in school dedicated to the principles of customer service, I think 90% of Americans were out sick that day. I have been on the phone with constituents who were unhappy, have served meals to people who complain, and have dealt with divas who go way off contract and don’t know the meaning of the word NO. As in, no, I will not pay you in cash before you go onstage, the contract says I’ll give a check to your agent after the show. No, buying drugs is not what I do. Look around. There’s not a phone or TV in your room and no liquor either. We’re in the middle of no-where so how am I going to buy you drugs in the next 15 minutes before you go onstage? NO.

Yes, sometimes one must be firm and direct. Most times subtlety has its charms. Yes, ma’am, of course we can press your husband’s pants again. Your steak was overcooked? Let me ask the chef to get you another.

As one gets higher up the food chain and is spending more money for a car or place to live it is very important for those making the sale to make their clients happy. The model year for this car shows that transmissions can be an issue and that will add $5K to the price of this car, may I take it to ABC mechanic and pay to check it out? Of course, ma’am, I’ll deliver it myself and pick it up for you this afternoon. Just call ABC with your payment information.

Most folks only want to make the sale and never respect the customer or client afterwards. That’s a big mistake. We lived in a loft years ago that gave us a deal for the first year then jacked up the price a lot thereafter and weren’t there when we needed anything. We asked how to deal with the issue and they said you can only get the deal if you’re new here. How do you do that? In the end we moved ten feet away to a “mirror” loft (everything was on the “wrong” side) and enough residents made a stink because of how we were treated so they immediately changed the policy.

One thing that should never be done is treating customers/clients like idiots and thinking they’ll never find another source for whatever they need. They will, I assure you, whether it’s a car dealership or a bank. My bank put both our names on my old checking account then told me it was my new husband’s account and I didn’t have access. Let’s just say I had issues with that one but fixed it when their customer service people were kind and efficient.

I pay the bills and set everything up here for my husband because he was arriving two weeks early and would have to sign for cable, electric et al. No ma’am, we cannot talk to you unless your husband authorizes us to do so. One time an electric agency told us they were turning off our power. I got my husband to call late after work and turn the phone over to me. They had erroneously credited the past three months of our bills to a family living 1,500 miles away! I got on the account and last summer three months of our bills were a zero balance but not until after they gave me the runaround for months.

Note to children: watch your parents. They are, or are supposed to be, your primary influence in life. Don’t become a bully. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worthy to be on this planet or any other. Learn at school. Let your spoken words and writing make the changes you want for your family, neighborhood, town, nation and world because you want to be the best you can be. While you’re at it, 16 year-old college kid, please make sure my pizza is hot when you bring it to the table. We tip well for your college fund. Cheers, Dee

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One response to “Customer Service

  1. This post is for Doug in PC who won’t ever read it because he doesn’t have a computer and all their slips are done by hand. He is in one of the most pretentious towns in the country and treats us like gold. If you look up customer service in the dictionary (if anyone still prints them) his photo would be right up there.

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