Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Challenge

Something happened the other day that made me think a little bit. I don't know about you guys, but if I'm in a position where I receive bad customer service, I am the first person to fill out a comment card or write an email to complain. At the VERY least, I usually tell others (or the blog) about the experience. But what about the opposite circumstance--do I do anything when I receive exceptionally great customer service?

I think I mentioned that Justin decided to be on-call for drain cleaning over the holiday weekend. He's done so before and has literally never gotten a call. But, since J already gets paid more for drain cleaning than other plumbing work, and it was over the holidays, it was a great opportunity for some overtime. Anyway, he got a call right as we were getting ready to leave for our big fancy, much awaited Christmas Eve dinner, and I have to admit that I was pretty bummed. Not at him, but the situation just sucked, and I was sad that he would miss a portion of the dinner. He ended up arriving part-way through the main course. Again, a bummer, but at least he made it.

Earlier this week, the elderly couple that he did the call for dropped off a letter at the shop for Justin's bosses. They said that they just wanted to thank J and the company for the great customer service--that they appreciated Justin's willingness to come out even though it was a holiday, and appreciated his positive attitude once he arrived, even though they knew it was taking him away from a special dinner with his family (they offered him dinner while he was there, but he declined and explained that he was meeting us at the restaurant). At some point, J must have mentioned the fact that I'm hugely pregnant, because they also added that he was not only an asset to the company, but would be a great dad as well. kind and thoughtful was that follow-up letter? I am so happy for J that he received feedback like that, because he IS such a hard worker, and DOES try his best to always have a positive attitude with customers, even if he's not personally having a great day.

Anyway, that got me thinking...when was the last time that I went out of my way to let a manager know when someone was exceptionally helpful, or went out of their way for me? Why don't I extend the same effort when someone does exceedingly well as I do when someone does exceedingly poorly?

So here's my challenge to you all--in the next month, if you receive customer service that goes above and beyond, take the time to fill out a comment card or send the manager an email. Just let them (not just the employee, but their boss) know! I guarantee that the positive feedback will make both the manager and the employee's day :)


  1. Love your challenge - I agree, it's so easy to complain, but we forget to commend. I do try - if the great service is at a restaurant, I respond with a big tip, but I'm going to be more conscious of it. Congrats to J!

  2. What a great idea! It's very sad that bad feedback is much more common than good feedback. Being a nursing student I see that happen all the time. Patients hardly ever comment about the good experiences in the hospital, but are the first to complain when their medicine is 2 minutes late because you were next door helping someone who couldn't even move to help themselves. Thanks for bringing this up... We could all try a little more to give a pat on the back :) And kudos to J for having such a great attitude!

  3. Great challenge!

    Because I've worked in many restaurants, I always go out of my way to let the manager know when a server gives me excellent service - I want them to know what a great employee they have! But I'm not so great about that in other customer service jobs, so I'm going to make a point to do this!

  4. I actually do this! Since I worked retail for 7 years, I can appreciate great customer service when I see it. If Jon and I are out eating and get a great server, we'll often ask for the manager on duty to let them know that our server was excellent. I used to work at a department store where we had a incentive program called "Heroics". If a customer called in or stopped by customer service to let management know about the great service they received, that employee got their name called out in front of everyone on Saturday morning, and received $10 dollars! It was fun!

  5. That's awesome they sent a letter to J's boss! And a good challenge too. I've done this in the past, but not recently.

  6. That's so sweet of them to do! John will get things like that every now and then and it's always appreciated. We both worked in restaurants (where we met) and used to receive all sorts of stuff for great customer comments. Great challenge!

  7. Tom and I do this all the time. I worked as a district manager in retail for years and know how important it is to let a manager know the good and the bad. If we have a good waiter, we always let the manager know. Same with a bad one.

  8. I am a huge fan of thank you notes and try to write them every time. When we bought my car in May, my mom hates dealerships and the salespeople. However, our salesman was wonderful and she was sure to write a thank you to him and the general manager of the dealership and I think it is amazing how far just a small note like that can go! We already knew your husband was wonderful, but a little reminder from others is always nice too!

  9. I love this challenge, and I totally agree. What a nice thing for that couple to do, and we should all do that when people like your husband deserve it, because I know how much I appreciate people being excellent at their job! They should know I do, too!

  10. That's soo true. At my last job, a compliment to management could mean the difference in a promotion or a raise. I like your challenge & I might just have to participate!

  11. This totally made me tear up! What a fantastic challenge, and kudos to your hubs for deserving it. I would be bah hum bug for sure if I'd been in Justin's shoes!


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