With my current job, that I've had for 12+ years, I've been through more customer service training that anyone I know. I work with life insurance agents and all the training has truly paid off because I feel very comfortable talking to an agent who is at-his-wits-end TICKED off, as well as a jolley old-timer. I love joking with the happy ones and in the very next phone call, being extremely professional and helpful to make someone pleased with our company and our service, when before they called me, they were ready to take their business elsewhere.
All this training has raised my expectations for the way people serve me, when I'm the customer. I honestly expect "knock your socks off" service all the time.
If I don't receive exceptional service, in the back of my mind I always say "what could they do to turn this experience around to make me a more loyal customer?"
I know, I'm weird. Like I said, I've had lots of training and lots of experience in this field. :)
I have a point, I'll get to it now.
We are in the market for a trampoline. The one we have is from Sam's boss, when she was a teenager. Right now it has a huge hole ripped in it, which is fun if you are a thrill seeker, but extremely dangerous for young accident-prone children like mine.
A week ago yesterday, we found an amazing deal at Sam's Club. It included a trampoline, which was bigger than our current tramp, the padding to go over the springs, and the net enclosure. It was significantly cheaper than any other trampoline we could find, including used ones. We decided to buy it. Well, this particular Saturday was a very warm spring day and I think everyone else had the same idea!
Not only was the West Jordan Sam's Club sold out, but every Sam's Club in the Salt Lake Valley were all sold out. Logan was the only store that had any left. I asked an employee if they would be getting any more in. She said she had heard that they were, but they were going to sell the enclosure and the trampoline separately for a little more than the combined offer.
So I called my niece (Jessica), who lives in Logan, and asked her to do me a huge favor. I asked her to buy the trampoline for me and we'd come the next Saturday (yesterday) to pick it up. Jessica was super cool about it and was happy to help her crazy Aunt Carrie.
She purchased it and since the box didn't fit in her car, Sam's Club agreed to hold it in their store until yesterday when we would come pick it up.
So yesterday we made the trek to Logan. I told the girl at the Customer Service desk that I was here to pick up the trampoline and her face told me they didn't have it before she even opened her mouth. She said "I tried calling you yesterday, it's a huge mess, but your trampoline got sold to somebody else. However, I called a store in Colorado and they are shipping your trampoline here, we should have it in 5 days." Right away I have a zillion questions like "how could you have sold it?!?!? It was already purchased by Jessica and the receipt was taped to the box!" or "Who did you try calling? Jessica didn't get a phone call from you!?" and I could go on and on and on.
However, instead of getting all business like and demanding what I know are my customer rights, I calmly said "Well, I live in West Jordan. If you could please have the trampoline shipped to the West Jordan Sam's Club, then all my concerns will be resolved." This employee did not give me any peace of mind with her reaction of "I'm not sure, I'll have to see...." Before I knew it we were on our way back home. Sam even said to me "I'm surprised you were so nice." Yeah, I kind of have a reputation...
So as we're driving home I'm getting more and more annoyed and mad. I needed to vent so I sent Fern a text message...I couldn't call her because she was at a dental convention in Vegas. Come to find out Sam's Club called Fern on Friday because she is the owner on Jessica's account. However, the dorks at Sam's Club didn't explain the issue over her voicemail. Instead, they just said "call us about the trampoline" Fern figured it was just their way of confirming that I was picking it up the next day, which is totally logical.
When Fern found out what happened, she called and spoke with the manager of the Logan Sam's Club and demanded that they ship the goods to the West Jordan Store. Then she proceeded to explain that I needed compensation for all I've gone through so the manager agreed and said he would send a $50 gift card as well!
So now sometime this week I should have the new trampoline, as well as the gift card, and all will be well with my world.
So, my hat goes off to Fern, who fought my fight for me! It's nice to know I have a friend in my world of "Saving the Customer"!
I still want to find the associate who sold the already-sold tramp and ask him how much more money did the buyer offer him? I'm guessing it wasn't worth the trouble that has since bombarded him. Idiot. Big idiot.
That was a long story, but seriously, this stuff gets me pumped. Now that I'm home all day with the chillins, I don't get to experience conflict like this as much with the outside world.
Problem solving, it takes lots and lots of practice.
1 day ago