Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Customer is Always Wrong

Repeat after me, "The Customer is Always Wrong".  Somehow that doesn't quite sound right does it?  Then I wonder why do so many companies persist in treating their customers that way?
Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization

Today, I experienced this attitude twice from two separate companies in completely different industries.  What did the two companies have in common?  They are both in the service industry! Unbelievable isn't it?

My first bad experience occurred at lunch time. 

While driving near my home a couple of weeks ago a truck threw up a very small rock that chipped the windshield in my Ford Fusion Hybrid.  Lucky for me, Florida is one of a small number of states that make it illegal to charge an insurance deductible for a windshield repair.

The insurance company recommended a cheap fix with the promise that if I didn't like the results of this "fill gap measure" they would still replace the windshield.  I didn't like the results and called them today to arrange installation of the new windshield they promised.

Let me get this straight, you said you'd be happy to replace the windshield for $335?! What happened to the no questions asked for no additional charge? 

I hung up and called the insurance company who refused to talk to me and reconnected me back to the auto glass company.  I love a good run around, don't you?

The second person I talked to explained that the service representative I spoke to originally was "uninformed and mistaken", but for me the damage was already done. 

The second bad experience occurred at supper.

My wife and I decided to eat out at a local chain restaurant that specializes in affordable neighborhood family dining.  Lucky for us, we made it inside before the thunder storm started.

I ordered the chicken fajitas and my wife ordered the steak cooked medium well.  The fajitas were fine, but the steak came out medium rare with blood oozing out of it!

When the manager brought the re-cooked steak back to the table, my wife explained that unfortunately every time she orders steak from their restaurant it comes back undercooked.  This was the queue for the manager to put on a smiley face and offer his apology.

What approach did he decide to take? He explained that undercooked steaks hadn't been a problem before.  Excuse me. We're the customers Mr. Manager. If the customer tells you it's the third time she's ordered steak recently and it's the third occasion that the steak was undercooked then you're supposed to say you're sorry and what else can you do to make it right. Right?

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