Customer service kudos

Bad experiences seem to circulate pretty quickly online. Good experiences don’t get shared as much, or so it seems. I suppose if I’d like to see that changed I could always do something about it myself. So here are a few positive highlights from recent retail experience.

CRobinsonDesign – When my wife drops hints about what she might like for presents I tend to pay attention. In this case her birthday was coming up, and she’d dropped a very clear hint I should check out a particular merchant on Etsy who sells jewelry on an earth- and animal-friendly theme. So I did. I found a cute necklace I thought she might like. And then I saw a problem. The site mentioned to allow at least seven business days for an order to ship. I had waited a little too long. Though I still had ten days, there was a chance the order wouldn’t make it in time.

I decided to take a chance and order anyway. There was a field for entering comments, so I decided to let the seller know my predicament. I made it clear I wasn’t expecting her to do anything special for me, since it was my problem I’d delayed too long, but asked if there was something she could do. I got an email back within hours. Christy was very kind and promised to expedite my order and send it by a faster service.

I wrote back thanking her profusely. And I thought that would be the end of it. I was already satisfied. And I got the package within five days. But, just to make sure everything was as expected, I decided to unwrap it and check it out. Her wrapping job was very elegant and attractive. She included a personalized message to my wife. She even added in a set of earrings for free. (Yes, I realize I was paying for all of that, but I wasn’t expecting all that.) It was as awesome an experience as if I’d gone to a local boutique store. Christy made me a hero.

I’ve since gone back, not just to leave a positive review, but to check out how she’s faring with her other customers. She’s got 683 reviews, and has averaged 5 stars. A quick survey of the other reviews indicates my experience was typical. This lady has managed to nail online selling, making it a positive experience with as much of a professional attitude with a personal touch as one can possibly have online.

McNeil’s Auto Care – When we moved to Sandy from Boise one of the hardest things was leaving my regular mechanic. Rooster’s Auto Repair was an awesome place, and not just because Rooster is adorable. Dave and the gang always took good care of us, and Dave was fun to talk to. I was afraid I would never find a place that good again. Now, I’ll admit that McNeil’s isn’t quite as fun as Rooster’s. They’re a bigger operation, with a bigger facility, and hence lack that personal touch.

However, on everything else I give them fill points. They weren’t the first shop we tried out when we came here, but they’re probably the last. They’ve been doing a good job for us for a while now, but my trip today was unexpectedly good. I took it in for an oil change and, not unexpectedly they suggested some additional regular maintenance. They’re pretty good about not pushing too hard on extra stuff like that, so I try to hear them out. And I agreed to let them perform the added work this time around. We’re going to be switching over to warm-weather driving, so there are a few things that would be good to do to be ready.

However, I had kids at home waiting for me to get back so we could do something, and this extra work would take at least an hour. So I told them I’d head home, and to call me when it was ready. The gentleman I spoke to immediately offered to have one of their guys drive me home. Now, it’s not that far to walk, but I didn’t really want to spend that time walking, so I agreed. I would still be walking back over to pick it up, so it’s not like I wouldn’t get my exercise. 😉

When they called back, however, they again offered to send someone over to pick me up. They’ve given me rides home before, but they’ve never offered to pick me up! So of course I took them up on that, too. Back at the shop I settled the bill–they gave me a AAA discount, knowing full well I’m not a AAA member–and we chatted about how good my little car is. Understand, I drive a Toyota Corolla that’s on its 21st year. It’s showing signs of wear–I’m usually putting oil in it before time for a change–but it still gets great gas mileage. And while they’ve been caring for it I’ve not had any trouble with it.

Anyhow, while I hate spending money on cars, I don’t mind spending it with McNeil’s. They genuinely want my business, and they appear to be doing a good job with our cars. A golden retriever to play with at the shop would be nice, but you can’t have everything.

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