Customer Service

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We live in a world of instant gratification. Where we want more than what we need and where we expect that anything we want should almost magically appear. I'm as guilty of it as the next person. I become impatient when my phone refuses to connect to social media or when the power goes out. I've come to rely on these things and strongly dislike when my semblance of normalcy is disrupted.

Something I think has changed greatly in the course of only a few decades is customer service. Years ago, great customer service was the norm. Not because these people were paid well to do so, but because we lived in a time where pleasing others, helping others was common. It wasn't this self-absorbed selfish world we currently inhabit.

Somewhere along the way of impatience and technology, customer service has waned. Laziness ensued. Why should anyone work any harder than they absolutely need to? There's no immediate benefit, so why bother?

You used to dial an 800 number and reach a person. Now you reach an automated voice that leads you through a series of prompts that, in most cases, doesn't get you anywhere closer to resolving your issue than before you called.

This laziness, this impatience but mainly this technology has lead us to the life where when a company does something wrong we immediately blast them on social media. Because it's powerful. Because it's more than just calling and complaining. Now people can see just how much this company wronged you! And granted, I'd guilty of this as well.

The sad truth that I have come to realize now is that we spend so much time complaining about things, voicing our frustrations to these companies that we fail to ever acknowledge when they go above and beyond. Which is an irony in and of itself. Twenty, thirty years ago what we think of as excellent customer service was just your standard customer service.

Last week Dunkin Donuts started offering Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk in their stores. This is the first time they've offered a dairy free option. As someone trying to complete a Whole 30, this was much appreciated. But do you know what most of their comments on Facebook said? First there was a litany of complaints that they charge you more for almond milk because it's the same price as milk in the store. (Not in the stores I visit however. It's more expensive.) Then the complaining went onto the brand because how dare they choose Almond Breeze over Silk or any other non-dairy company. And I read through these comments, or should I say complaints, one after another of these people bitching and whining and all I could think was really? It can't just be enough that they have finally offered a dairy free option but because it is not the option that you want, it's not good enough. Make your damn coffee at home then! It's not like you already weren't!

Now I didn't just type all of this because I wanted to tell you about people complaining to Dunkin about almond milk. I typed all of this because I wanted to share with you two great customer service experiences I had.

On Wednesday my boss told me that he thought his laptop battery was dying and he needed a new one before he left for China on Saturday morning. I immediately hopped online and started price comparing to find him a battery. And I found that all of the sites had at least 3 day shipping time frames. I needed 2 day. I initially ordered from one company (and in the event of keeping the complaints to myself I shall not reveal it) who said on their website it would be delivered on Friday the 5th. Once the order was placed however, the delivery date changed to Monday the 8th. I tried to resolve this with their most unhelpful customer service employees and eventually just gave up.

Then I found the battery on Quill.com, an office supply site that I've used for many, many years at various jobs I've had. Their website also said delivery on Friday or Monday. I called the customer service line and explained my situation. I was transferred to another portion of their shipping department who was able to determine that the item was in stock in a northern PA warehouse. By paying additional shipping fees for two-day service, they guaranteed that I would have the item on Friday. I first company made no attempts to help me at all but both representatives I spoke with at Quill instantly made it their mission to get me this laptop battery on time. Impressed with the lengths they were willing to go, I immediately hopped on Twitter and told them they made my day.

The other company to provide me with excellent customer service this week was Comcast/Xfinity. Now I'm sure a ton of you have just furrowed your brow in confusion because they are not known for their great customer service skills. Now, I won't lie, I have had my issues with Comcast in the past but I truly believe they have gone great lengths to improve their customer experience.

For weeks Tom has been complaining about our crappy internet speed. If he was playing a game online and I had more than two webpages open, our internet was seriously struggling. Our wifi was pretty crappy and loading apps could take minutes. Looking online, it appeared the only way to get more internet came with a hefty price, one that I was not willing to pay.

I'm cheap. I think I've admitted that on here before, but I can't stand that we pay for all of these channels that we never even watch and there isn't a way to customize your television package to include the channels you would actually like to see.

Hesitantly, I called Comcast last Saturday, expecting that I would be told there was no way to increase our internet speeds without spending more money than I was interested in paying. Instead I was pleasantly surprised. I called, explained that our internet was terrible but that I just simply didn't have any more money to pay for it. The rep put be on hold to see what she could do and came back to tell me I could have the faster internet speed with the same television and telephone service for the same price that I was paying, it just involved a two year contract. This entire encounter took less than 5 minutes. I agreed and then she told me we'd lose our internet connection for a few moments while the new information was set to our router so we could have the faster speed. Less than five minutes later, we could significantly tell the difference.

I tweeted them as well to say I appreciated the service.

These little gestures, sharing the good instead of the bad are simply necessary sometimes. We already live in a world where terrible things happen on a regular basis, it is the absolute least we could do to share something that we appreciate. Something that made us happy. And to let others know.

(I haven't received any compensation or anything from any of these companies by mentioning them in the post. I just wanted to put the information out there.)

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