Volume 11, Issue 2 - March/April 2007
I have an extreme aversion to whipped cream. I hate it in any form. So, when the Starbucks barista handed me my double-tall white chocolate mocha with no whip covered in whip, I was mildly disturbed. When he “fixed” it by providing me with another coffee, this time, with only one shot, I became very disturbed.
I am normally a pleasant person, but I’ve worked in customer service before and expect the same service to be provided to me. But here, at the nation’s largest coffee chain, which prides itself on customization, my simple request was being overlooked again and again. I spent nearly 10 minutes during my lunch hour awaiting a coffee that should have taken three minutes.
This got me to thinking—why is good service so lacking in our society? Don’t businesses care anymore if their customers are satisfied?
While I was working on this issue, I was pleased to find that there are still some companies in the window film industry, at least, that put service at the top of their list of priorities. As you’ll see in my profile of Sun Tint in Austin, Texas, on page 18, there are companies that actually rank this as their number-one effort. Sun Tint provides a waiting room equipped with cold beverages and wireless Internet access.
When I moved on to do Price Points (page 29), I kept thinking about this and tried to pay a bit more attention than usual to the service I was receiving when I called shops across the United States for quotes.
I had quite a mixture of experiences—some good, some bad.
One of the shops answered, “Hey, this is Joe,” with no offer to help whatsoever. I wasn’t even sure if I was calling a tint shop or if I had dialed the wrong number. I got the price, but had I truly been looking to have my car tinted, I certainly would have thought twice before taking it to this shop.
Soon, though, things started to take a turn for the better. I called another shop, this time in Columbus, Ohio, who not only answered politely, but asked me several questions and told me about their lifetime warranty.
I had a similar experience when I called a shop in Portland, Ore. The representative asked if I had a referral.
I answered, “No, why? Would that change the price?”
The gentleman had a very surprising answer.
“Everybody’s going to tell you they’re going to do the best job. I’d rather you be referred to us, so that you know that we’re going to do a good job,” he said.
I finished the call feeling “enthusiastically satisfied,” which is the term Starbucks uses in its mission statement for how it would like for its customers to feel when they leave. And I had this feeling before the work was even done.
David Read of Johnson Window Films speaks to this as well in his column on page 7. He offers some tips for welcoming your customers when they call.
Hopefully, using these tips, you can increase your repeat business and gain new customers. While you may not be selling a double-tall white chocolate mocha with no whip, in the end, leaving your customers enthusiastically satisfied is still what it’s all about.
Penny Stacey is the editor of Window Film magazine.