April 28, 2006

They’re gonna hear about this one.

When customer service is bad, you want to tell everyone. You ask to talk to a manager, write to supervisors, threaten to close an account, or shop somewhere else. Why are we compelled to do something only when we are wronged?

I intend to write to The Bank about an experience I had with one of their employees recently.

Yesterday morning, I received an e-mail from Phone Company reminding me to pay my bill. WHAT? I paid it, like 2 weeks ago! I quickly went to my online bank account and checked to see that the payment was sent. Yup. Payment sent. Yup. Deducted from my account. I logged into my Phone Company account, and sho’nuff, they did not credit my payment. Hmm…what’s up with that? Aha! According to them, my account number ends in 0, but the account number I use for Phone Company on The Bank’s bill paying system ends in 9. I don’t recall receiving notice that my account number changed, but Phone Company recently merged with another so maybe that messed up my account number. My money probably went towards paying some random person’s bill. I am so generous that way.

I filed an online WTF? with Phone Company and also let The Bank know about the problem, using their online payment dispute form. Instantly I received an e-mail response from Phone Company saying they were working on the problem. You know, one of those sincere, personalized form letter types.

About 20 minutes later, I received a phone call from a woman at The Bank. She was calling about my billing dispute, and said she had Phone Company on the other line. “Would you mind doing a conference call to take care of this?” Wow.

So we had our three-way, and worked out the issue. The Bank rep made sure that Phone Company wouldn’t charge me a late fee (it was only 96 cents, but still) and that my good standing wouldn’t be affected.

The Bank acted so quickly to resolve my issue, I was surprised. But this woman was just doing her job. Sure, she was doing it well, but past experience has taught me not to expect much (least of all, personal attention) in the way of customer service. Car wash dude, bribe me into a wax with a quick 10-minute turnaround and then 30 minutes later, when I ask if it’s ready, tell me that you didn’t even see my car waiting there. Go ahead and talk on your cell phone while you ring up my purchase. Chat with the bagger about that hickey on her neck. Personally, I wouldn’t have my hair in a ponytail after being assaulted by a leech, but that’s just me. Oh, and I don’t mind that you don’t greet me, or thank me, or make any eye contact, because it feels more like when I use the self-checkout. Except the self-checkout never complains about its crappy day or how much its job sucks wax fruit.

I believe in positive reinforcement, so I will send a letter of kudos to The Bank. Maybe in appreciation of my compliments they’ll give me some free money.

11 people have roominated about “They’re gonna hear about this one.”

  • fantastagirl says:

    If sending a nice letter to the bank gets you free money – let me know – okay? I could use some free money – better yet, I’d just take the friendly customer service.

  • Grins says:

    Care to share which bank? That is one I’d consider changing to in a second. I’ve sent a positive email too, about the McDonalds guy that would get my coffee each morning at the drive thru. Great guy, deserved a promotion to training and I told them so. He was put into the manager program soon thereafter and the manager said it was due to my letters to him and corporate. Hope your bank clerk gets notice as well.

  • Redneckmommy says:

    Good on you. All too often we tend to be quick to complain and slow on heaping on praise. I’m glad you went out of your way to praise the chicky who helped you.

    Glad Michele sent me. Have yourself a great weekend!

  • DebR says:

    I love the idea of doing a positive reinforcement letter!

    Here today from Michele’s meet ‘n’ greet. (It looks in her comments like I skipped you, but I saw that and here I am!)

  • ribbiticus says:

    working in a bank myself, it’s nice to know that there are people out there who do take the time to show/do acts of appreciation for things that a lot take for granted. keeping the customer happy is a very difficult creed to follow and a smile or a simple thanks can really turn around a stress-filled day. i hope your bank is the bank i work for. 🙂

  • Monty says:

    I don’t know about free money, but I suspect that they are they everyone else, they live to hear nice things about themselves. I never hear enough good things about me. Know anyone that does? Golly, this is just about one of the best blogs I read, I look forward to reading it daily. More importantly, I really do look forward to the next really great image. Might as well keep it real. And now you know, you finally got it out of me, you sly talking blogger you.

  • Dara says:

    I love this concept and do it whenever I can, usually on the phone I’ll ask to talk to the supervisor and tell them right then and there. So much nicer than having to write the other kind of letter or make the other kind of call.

    Michele sent me.

  • Claire says:

    One thing I noticed on my trip to the States last year was that Customer Service there far outshines that of our British customer service…can you imagine how bad ours is when you guys think yours is bad?! LOL!!

    Here from Michele’s!

  • keda says:

    hi i’m here via micheles and i enjoyed this post!
    i wrote an email thanking a mail order shoe company who gave me great service last summer. i then received a really lovely and obviously shocked sounding email from the lady at customer services thanking me profusely back! sweet. no freebies though sadly !

  • Carmi says:

    Good scustomer service is so NOT rocket science, yet it’s shocking how few enterprises really get it. It’s also shocking how few employees get it. A helpful comment, a smile and eye contact are often all it takes to make it seem like you’re a superstar: you’d figure more folks would have figured out this career-building behavior by now.

    But not. Most employees, managers and companies are dumb.

    I’ve learned that a well-placed thank you letter often leads to good things. I’ve received more than my fair share of free doodads from appreciative companies.

  • shpprgrl says:

    It’s funny when you compliment someone in a restaurant, store, etc. they expect that you are about to gripe about somethinng. You can just feel it! They are always shocked when receiving a compliment.

roominate on this yourself