A Tale of Two Businesses

If you've read anything I've written, you know that I'm all over customer service and communication.  I've done my bitching of poor service and when I find the good I try to extoll it.  Over the past couple of days I've experienced both ends of the spectrum from local, relatively small companies.  Let's look at them both.

First up is a local plumbing, heating & air company.  I've used this company before for my plumbing needs; although thankfully I haven't had to call on them often.  They are the first people I call when I have a plumbing issue.  They've installed a hot water heater, unclogged drains and installed new faucets.  Several weeks ago I decided I wanted a new kitchen sink (stainless steel to replace the white stained one that I currently have) and single-handle pull-down sprayer faucet.  I started poking around on line and it was my husband's suggestion that I call the plumber and see what they suggested.  So I did.

I got on the phone with a customer service rep and told her what I wanted.  She said there were several places that they recommended to make this kind of purchase.  She mentioned one vendor and then put me on hold while she got the name of another.  She never came back.  Instead I was transferred to the man, (I'll call him Guy) who I believe owns the company who said he could help.  He asked me to take photos of what I currently had for him to look at and then he'd get back to me with recommendations on sink and faucet.  So far so good, right?  I take the photos and send them to him via email that afternoon.

Now in all fairness, it was a Friday afternoon.  I didn't expect an immediate answer.  When I didn't hear by Tuesday, I resent the email with the photos.

Thursday I missed a call from the company.  So I called back and got the original customer service representative.  She wanted to know if I wanted to move forward with a new faucet.  I said I DID, but I hadn't heard back from Guy or gotten a proposal/quote from him.  She says she'll transfer me and I promptly get disconnected.

I call Guy directly and get his voice mail.  I was (a little) frustrated as I said I was waiting to hear from him and his customer service rep had followed up with me, but I had no way of moving forward until he provided me with information.  I asked him to call me back.

As of this Monday I hadn't heard from him, so I emailed him again.  On Tuesday I still hadn't heard and thinking that maybe there was a problem with email; I called.  Once again I got his voice mail.  As I write this, it's nearly 2 weeks since my initial call and I'm nowhere.  I've followed up numerous times.  I've said I want them to do the work.  But nothing.  And I am an established customer with this company.  I'm no longer a happy customer.

Example number two is a local coffee house/restaurant/caterer.  I am NOT a regular customer.  As a matter of fact, the last time I stepped inside their doors was December 2019 when I purchased a gift card as a Christmas present for my son.  At the time they were out of actual gift cards, so instead I was given a business card with Gift Card written on it and the amount.  That card has sat unused among my son's things since Christmas 2019.

While browsing social media, I noticed that they were offering a Father's Day brunch available for take-out.  Looking at the menu it seemed ideal.  Both my husband and son would love it.  (Forget me with my allergies.)  I envision sitting on the patio enjoying this Father's Day.  I went to place my order on line and realized that I could use the gift card which my son had never used, but I couldn't use it because it wasn't a "real" gift card.

I took a photo of the card and emailed it to the address on the website.  I explained the circumstances and how I'd like to apply the gift card to the purchase and then, because it wasn't enough to cover it all, pay the rest using a credit card.  Since I didn't have a "real" gift card did I need to come down and place my order in person?  Would they take my order via phone and allow me to pay when I came in?  I have to admit that part of me was afraid that they'd say the card wasn't valid as it wasn't a "real" card and it had been over a year since I said I had purchased it. 

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from the owner an hour later saying she has created a special coupon code for me and to just enter it when I checked out.  That would deduct the gift card and then I could enter my credit card information for the rest.  She requested that when I picked up the meal that I hand over the card and to let her know if I had any other issues.

In less than 5 minutes after her email I had placed my order and received a confirmation email.  How AMAZINGLY easy was that?  While we haven't had the food yet, the customer service for Blue Hippo Coffee Co  continues to earn rave reviews from me.  I may not be a regular customer, but I am a committed one and one who will not hesitate to recommend them.  Because at Blue Hippo Coffee Co, good customer service is still alive and kicking.


Popular posts from this blog

Not Guilty

Please Don't Ask Me...

Lowe's LIES