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Best service

John R. Hall
John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
Dan asked in an earlier thread about your best customer. I'd also be interested in the best service you ever got (or could remember). Your answers might be good fodder for a future article.

My best experience was just last year in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Our family was there because the kids were in a national dance competition and it became a big thing with about 30 families in attendance. Four of our families with kids in tow went to the local Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Our server could have been overwhelmed but he was great. The kids all sat at a separate table from the adults and he treated them exactly the same as us -- with respect and quick, responsive service. He entertained us and made sure we were completely satisfied with the experience. You can't ask for more -- and he got a nice tip for his work.

One other was on a family trip when we stopped in an Olive Garden near Racine, Wisconsin. Again, another great waiter. I always believe that if someone takes good care of you that you take good care of him or her. It's that simple.


  • George_10
    George_10 Member Posts: 580
    I bought a used Shopsmith from an estate

    The ways were rusted and it needed other TLC. I called Shopsmith and the young fellow spent an half hour on the phone telling me how to get it back in top running order.
    I was so impressed, I wrote the president of the company a letter and told him about my experience with this young man.

    Now here was a situation, that they were not going to make a dime off of me and yet they wanted me to enjoy a good experience with their equipment. It stood me in good stead when I ran my own company and taught my staff how to treat our customers.
  • DaveC
    DaveC Member Posts: 201
    Not very encouraging, is it?

    One positive reply. I tried to come up with a situation, other than when a tip was expected, and am coming up blank. Unfortanately, I can only equate "good service" with a mistake in my favor, like when I paid for 4 nice patio chairs (already on sale) and found 6 in the box when I got home.
  • eric_2
    eric_2 Member Posts: 148
    Actually it's pretty sad

    To see so few responses on this subject. I can't believe that I haven't seen one example of supply house customer service mentioned here. I would like to think that there would be at least a few examples of supply houses going the extra mile for their customers. After all, this is a customer service industry.
  • steve gates
    steve gates Member Posts: 329

    It's kinda sad when I think about this and not a whole lot comes to mind rightoff.

    Then I think the best service I ever recieved was from Pastor Dan. He did it for God's glory. NOT his own.

    I think of the service I have given over the years, in one profession or another. My longest round trip service when I was in food sales. 650 miles. My shortest. couple of feet. She always deserves better.

    I shop where I get the best service. And best value. Not price.

    Iwas raised in the service biz so it come natural to me now. I just don't expect top service any more. I do expect
    good value. Standout service is harder to find than ever.

    I would recommend Shiloh Steak house here in town. For great food and service. Not cheap but a good value.

    I will however continue to give the best I can, not for me, for Him.

  • Don Walsh
    Don Walsh Member Posts: 131
    My Turn

    In March of 2000, I was spending a week in sunny Florida trying to warm up after a very cold winter here in Ohio. I was staying at a national chain hotel on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. Upon arrival at the hotel, one of the first things I wished to do was to have a nice tall gin and tonic and then relax in the sun. I went to the ice machine on our floor-NO ICE!, I went to the ice machine two floors up-NO ICE! I went to the ice machine on the top floor, you guessed it- NO ICE! I called the front desk, they apologized for the problem and said they would send ice up from the restaurant. I being a meddlesome sort, asked why the machines are all out of order?? I was told that the company that was servicing the equipment was now out of business, and they had not been able to find a suitable company to take on the repairs and maintenance contract. The manager said the in-house maintenance man had tried to fix them, but he was not truly capable of that type of work. I asked if he had gauges, freon, cleaner, a meter, and some tools? They assured me they did, and I told them to have the guy meet me at the machine on my floor, which he did. In less than an hour, we were harvesting ice! As a favor to this old timer I fixed the other two machines as well in the next hour or two, and went back to my room for that long overdue drink. The manager personally brought up a bottle of my favorite gin, and asked how much he owed me for fixing the machines. I told him that nothing was owed to me, the bottle was more than enough payment and that I appreciated his thoughts. Upon checking out seven days later, I was surprised to find the entire bill was marked "paid in full with the sincere thanks of the management and staff" That was a class act in my book. A $1700+ bill paid in full for fixing three machines, way above the normal response I would say!

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Customer service

    it's been a few years since my last visit, but Disney has always impressed me as a top notch customer service company.

    We always found the employees polite and friendly, rarely do they say no to a request.

    I hope it is still that way, they set a good example that I have remembered for years.

    A finely tuned restaurant is a thing to behold. It's only been a handful, but the ones that train customer service from the initial greeting to the walk out the door sure leave an impression.

    It's really not that hard to train and offer top notch customer service, regardless of the business type. Heck even a friendly phone answer is nice to recieve. Doesen't get any easier than that :) Wish more companies would priortize it!

    hot rod

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  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Excellent Grumpy

    It's no coincidence that one good turn deserves another. A friend of mine, a local HVAC contractor, gave me two tickets to a Red Wings game last December. I offered to pay but he wouldn't hear of it. It was my son's first Red Wing game and was a special night (tickets are hard to find and very $$$ for the Wings).

    Well, as fate would have it. Our office manager called me last week and said that she was getting complaints from many people about the air conditioning. And she was getting no satisfaction from the building management. She wanted a recommendation for a good commercial contractor. I referred her to my friend, who she called. He came out with another tech and gave the air handling system a thorough check -- found many "problems." His man actually tweaked a fan while there and solved one employee's complaints right away. Bottom line: his company has a nice job with good opportunities for more work and referrals from others in the building.

    You do someone right, they'll do you right.
  • steve gates
    steve gates Member Posts: 329
    so I been thinking

    some more. Viessmann. Longest I've waited for a return call, 20min.

    And the wall, longest I've waited? Don't remember ao it couldn't have been toooooo long.
  • Dave Palmer_3
    Dave Palmer_3 Member Posts: 388
    just a couple

    Volvo service people are always great,any and all questions are answered politely and car is washed when done.But, a different service but much better was a old pastor we had. When my wife was pregnant with our first boy she was sick the whole 9 months,in hospital twice. Retired pastor would stop every other day to check on her.Later when my son was 3 in the hospital he would visit him everyday for a month. Mind you this man was in his 80's with a sickly wife at home.But he took a shining to my family and we did the same.He was business man for 40 plus years and quit it for his calling.Great guy to talk to because he knew both worlds. That was the best "customer service" we could ever of had. Dave Palmer
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,782
    Without a doubt... AXA insurance agent in Nemours, France takes the prize. So imagine this: One day a kid walks into your insurance business and asks to insure a number of things... the first question he asks in semi-literate French: do you want to do the easy insurance first or the hard one?

    We start with the hard one, insuring a US-registered vehicle in France. Patricia had never done such a thing, and the whole affair took about 3.5 hours due to the requisite phone calls, lookups, etc... She was friendly and professional the whole time even though several customers had to be turned away to come back later while she was working on this job. She then even gave me hints on how to lower my insurance premium by getting "good driver" documentation from the US.

    Contrast this to the treatment at a fellow AXA franchise in Fontainebleau, where I was refused coverage (despite having a quote in hand) as the owner didn't like the look of me (his secretary hadn't had such problems on my earlier visit). Not only was the Nemours price 60% of that in Fontainebleau, it was from the same parent company. In other words, the Fontainebleau insurance company was scamming the students...

    Anyway, the easy part took about 10 minutes, insuring our house and all that. Nevertheless, I thanked her with some flowers, seemed only appropriate considering how much money she had saved me, how friendly she had been, and how she was willing to spend 3.5 hours insuring nothing more than a car! For the next ten months, I drove around Europe incident-free.

    Then, in my last month in Fontainebleau, a rock hit my windshield and shattered it in a small spider-web pattern right over my steering wheel. What to do?

    I started by investigating the local car supply houses, looking for a epoxy-based solution until I got the car back to the US. Well, that didn't pan out. So then I called Patricia and explained what happened. "No Problem", she replied, "come to the insurance office and we'll get it written up". So off to Nemours I go, and Patricia inspected the damage. She really liked the car also! I offered her a test drive, she just smiled...

    Anyway, the next question was, where to get the car repaired? There are no local dealerships for my brand within less than 1+ hours of Fontainebleau, the closest being in the north of Paris, the perfect kind of environment to get lost, mugged, etc. in. No Thanks! Plus, they were booked out months in advance...

    Patricia contemplated this, then said she might have a way (the French are wonderful like that). So she calls her sister at the local Ford dealership, they ask me to come over, agree to do the job, and cheerfully take all the info that is required for them to get the proper replacement parts. On a car they have never worked on before, a car they are "not qualified" for, etc. I am sure some MBA brand managers heads would be spinning if they knew a customer defied their indoctrination and took the car to a Ford dealership for service...

    Via connections they have, they manage to source all the requisite parts (US Spec glass, etc.) So we make an appointment and I go back home wondering what the heck I am doing letting this dealership replace a rather complicated windshield on a car they have never worked on before (for example, the radio antenna is integrated into the windshield). Also, how to save the "tamper-proof" state inspection sticker?

    On a sunny Thursday, I drop off the car, leave the top down and walk away. Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst.

    That afternoon, I get a call that everything was done... come back and find that Irrational Exuberance is as pretty as she was before the accident. In fact, I could not tell that the windshield had been replaced... and they saved and re-applied the inspection sticker so well that one could not tell that it had been removed in the first place! To say the least, I was elated!

    They also remarked that I was the first driver of this particular brand car that was nice to them. Apparently, only arrogant bastards drive that brand in France, something I can unfortunately confirm on an anecdotal basis (sigh).

    Nonetheless, it was time to celebrate, so bottles of wine and flowers all around (for the mechanics also, of course, followed by a nice letter of appreciation to Ford management, France and the insurance company). The French were somewhat surprised by all this, they never had had a customer bring them flowers before. On the other hand, they hadn't dealt with me before either...

    Three months later when I was back in the US, I got a call from Ford in France. They wanted to thank me for the letter. I hope something good trickled down to the dealership and the insurance franchise as a result.
  • GaryDidier
    GaryDidier Member Posts: 229
    best service

    A few years ago I had an elderly couple with a no heat call in cold (0) weather. It was a 1920 vintage coal boiler converted to oil with a decrepit burner. The base of the boiler had water running through it. After some trial and error, I got an old burner with a 2 foot blast tube (had been saving as an antique curiosity) to work temporarily until I could get the parts for a permanent repair. The couple were gracious and very thankfull. The next day I recieved a beautifull boquet of flowers from the old couple with a long thankyou note. I was recently hired to replace the old system, no questions asked. These folks treated me just like family. My thanx to Mr. and Mrs. Corbett.

    Gary from Granville
  • David_5
    David_5 Member Posts: 250
    Good service

    During our engagement my wife and I decided to elope in New Hampshire. We planned to spend a week in N.H. to cover all the bases ( no pun intended). On the first business day we went to the local town hall to get a marriage certificate. The only person who can issue the certificate was the town clerk and she was out for the day. No problem, we drove to another twon hall. The town clerk was at a seminar for the day, so no certificate. We drove to another town hall and asked to see the town clerk. She is not in today came the reply. I thought my now wife would either explode in rage or tears. The woman asked if she could help. We explained we needed to see the town clerk to get a marriage certificate. The woman said she was the deputy clerk and she could issue it. She asked when we planned on getting married. We said ASAP. Well there is a waiting period of 5 days. We couldn't stay longer than 4 days. The woman must have felt sorry for us because she said she would take care of everything. On a snowy Friday night in February my wife and I were married outside by a justice of the peace. Her husband was the witness. After the wedding we had supper and drove back to Rhode Island. After a few days we recieved the wedding license. We will allways remember the deputy town clerk who bent the rules so two young people in love could get married. That was 9 years ago and we have 2, 5 year old sons now. I like to think our marriage was worth bending the rules for.

  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,782
    I hope you let her know that.

    Send her a pic of the family, if you haven't done so already. I'm sure she would appreciate it.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Hands down

    Viessmann, in the mechanical world anyhow. The technical support from them is without peer. They return my calls pronto and it doesn't matter what time of the day it is.

    I remember a call that was answered by Jim Brown at something after 10PM. It was my first Vitodens install and the job site was 85 miles from home base. It was a Friday evening and the boiler had to run that night so I called the 800 number, not knowing what to expect since it was the first time I had used it so late. I should have known, should have expected nothing but excellence. Jim returned my call in less than 10 minutes from the resturant he was at and talked me through the start up and difficulties I was having. (the vent had come apart where the HO had installed it up in a soffitt) He then called me back about 45 minutes later to make sure everything was under control.

    THAT my friends, is good service. It makes me feel like Viessmann is the only boiler in the world that should even be considered. Service like that is a benchmark for all other companies in this industry.
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