This post from Service Untitled gave me just the right push and connection to flesh out my customer service post that’s been perking in my brain for a couple days now–Service Untitled» Blog Archive » Greet your customers by name.
As you know Wednesday night I made the leap back into the Mac world, that’s only half of the story. You see to make the transition complete, and not to be paying for something I couldn’t use, I needed to replace my PCMCIA EVDO modem with a USB version.
Sounds simple right? Just pick one up, right? Yeah, well, sorta. See I got my PCMCIA version about 7 months ago on a three year contract which meant that to get a new EVDO modem, I’d have to buy it as full retail price, or so I thought.
My first stop before hitting the Apple Store I stopped by my favourite Telus reseller to try to get a new EVDO modem. They told me exactly what I thought, as far as they could do (nothing) they couldn’t give me a discount. Here’s an interesting part, when I asked the woman if she could call Telus and see what they said, she told me that they’d laugh at her for asking (since it said clearly on the screen no offers were there), but if I called customer retention..
So I did.
I talked to “Steve” and Steve was fantastic, but frankly it wasn’t all him I had my role to play as well. On the phone I knew I was at their mercy. They didn’t owe me anything. Sure I have two decent plans, but it was my own dern fault for not getting the USB version in the first place. So I told him that I knew that I needed to pay something, but it would be great if I got a discount. I didn’t demand. I wasn’t angry. I told him how much I loved the service. That I told you all about it all the time (which I do, having an EVDO modem with unlimited data effing rocks) and have written about it as well.
Steve told me that giving me any kind of break was really outside the norm. I’d only had the plan for 7 months, so it would be two years before I was eligible for anything, but he did give me a nice rebate (very nice actually saving me a lot of money).
By the time I was done begging for a discount and getting my MacBook, my usual store was closed so I went to Cell City in the Pacific Centre. Again, great customer service. Telling the guy there about my call with Telus, we agreed that by being nice and polite with Telus I got the discount.
So here is the moral of the story.
We’ve all had experiences with bad customer service where the person on the other side of the counter just started out rude and confrontational, but how often have you had great customer service when you started off on the right foot? A lot I bet.
I called “Steve” by his name. I was polite. I was appreciative. I was cheerful. I praised the company he worked for. I think most folks will be more willing to help you when the interaction starts off like that.
Next time you have a beef with a company or need something, try sugar first. Of course if it gets ugly, well the gloves might have to come off.