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Damage Control: Solving Problems with Customer Service

(August 2017) posted on Mon Aug 14, 2017

Why your shop should have a superb customer service policy.

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By Marty McGhie

Recently, I had a rather negative experience with a customer service representative from a popular hotel chain. The hotel dropped the ball on a reservation I had made for a late arrival of one of our employees. Then, after canceling the reservation and not allowing him to stay at the hotel, they went ahead and charged my credit card anyway, saying I canceled the reservation by my employee not showing up on time. As I attempted to sort this out, I was told by the customer service rep there was really nothing more she could do. So, I requested to speak with the hotel manager. I was informed that he was out of the country and they had no idea when he would return, and that it didn’t really matter because he would just tell me the same thing. Even after I expressed that this is a hotel my business partners and I utilize on a very regular basis, she didn’t really seem to care. I was stunned. It was a maddening experience that left a very sour taste in my mouth and effectively made me decide never to return to that hotel. Luckily, I was able to dispute the charge with my credit card company, but this hotel chain lost both revenue and a valuable customer.

Lest you believe that the sharing of this experience is only serving as my “venting therapy” (although it has helped), there is a point. All of us have stories like this that cause us to shake our heads and wonder how some businesses can miss the boat so far with regard to customer service. Likewise, we’ve all had wonderful experiences with customer service reps who have gone above and beyond in helping remedy a problem. This experience caused me to reflect on my own business and the level of customer service that we provide. I invite you to do the same by asking yourself the following question: “Does my company regularly provide excellent customer service to my clients?”