Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Customer Service

When I was growing up my mother taught us all about "the customer is always right." She used to point it out to us with sales people---when they did it right and when they did it wrong.

I have always been sensitive, therefore, to the demeanor of salespeople, receptionists, etc.

Last week I dropped in to see my friend Joyce, who works at Backus. I had to leave after a few minutes to go get my blood drawn and happened to mention how I couldn't stand how the people in the blood drawing station acted. They never welcome you, say please or thank you and are almost always abrupt, unfriendly and act like they are doing you a favor.

Joyce got very upset with this and told me she was going to report it. I told her "go ahead" and agreed to speak to someone in charge if they called me about it.

Well, yesterday the woman called me. She had looked up all the times I had been to the lab and when I told her I thought one of the problems is that I had almost never seen the same person twice in all the times I've been there, she knew exactly what I meant, as she could see everyone who was on duty at the time. I did tell her that the person who was on duty right after I had spoken with Joyce was the best of all of them...and that they could all learn from her how to interact with people.

She apologized and said she was embarassed for the dept....all of them had had training on how to greet people, etc. She also said that she had seen for herself firsthand when she had to go to dept at the hospital as a patient and saw how their attitudes changed after she flashed her hospital badge.

I know if I was working as a receptionist...I would greet everyone with a smile, try to remember their names and use their names when I greeted them...and I would say "please and thank you"...I would actually LOVE to be a receptionist!

Oh, the lady at the Cancer Center at Women's and Infants always acts like that desk is the last place in the world she wants to be....but the lady at the center at L&M is so sweet...she even remembers my name! The latter is exactly the kind of person they need at a cancer center, don't you think?

Well...today called to cancel two of my credit cards. The first one, was my Coldwater Creek Visa card, which I just paid off. The fellow who took care of this for me was very nice, he looked up to see if I had any "reward points" coming to me for recent purchases. He asked if I wanted to apply my credit line from this card to my other Visa card. Then he told me the account was cancelled and wished me a good day. A very pleasant and easy experience.

On the other hand, Jonathan from the Arizona office of Discover Card wanted (and did) give me a hard time. He kept trying to convince me to keep the card...THREE times I asked him to just cancel the card. He kept persisting..."do you know that you earn five percent for every time you use your card to purchase gas?" I don't care....just cancel the card. "Do you know...blah...blah.blah...?" I told him to stop trying to convince me to keep the card....just cancel it. It got to the point where he was saying "Why are you yelling at me?" I said, "because I've told you three times to cancel the card and you keep trying to get me to keep it open." He says,
"that's my job!" I told him I knew that and asked him to stop talking and just cancel the card....he keeps talking!!! I told him..."shhhhhh shhhhhhh....hush up now...stop talking stop talking..." HE KEEPS TALKING!!!!

I ask for his full name...he won't give it to me. I tell him I hope his supervisor or someone is listening in on the call so they can tell him this is NOT how you deal with customers.

Then he says that my credit rating will go down because I've had the card since 2000. I tell him, don't you think I have talked with a financial advisor before I did this and don't you think I know anything???? I tell him cancel the card...at which point he finally tells me the card is cancelled and I should cut it up and destroy any checks they have sent me (which they send me EVERY month, annoying the hell out of me).

WHO THE HELL USES DISCOVER CARDS ANYMORE???? I paid off the account last June, haven't even taken it out of my wallet since then!

So, FINALLY I am down to two cards. Visa and AmEx. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

I've had with Customer Service for awhile. Those two "good guys" stand out like SHINING STARS!

I can't wait to see how I'm treated tomorrow when I go for my blood work. Yippeee...I am SO looking forward to it.

My mother was right....the customer is always right....and that's the standard I go by...no matter what side of the desk I'm on.


Carol and Jim said...

I hope they don't have a great big needle waiting for you Annie!!

Audge said...

Yeah, I had the same problem when I went to cancel my Discover Card! We also had to cancel our Chase card this year, they started charging us $10.00 a month just to have their card!!! Oh, and if you can't stand bad cutomer service, don't come to Baltimore! It's the worst!

Marieps said...

Good thing you never got me on the phone at work! LOL!

I'm better now. At MGH I rarely met "my" patients-they were all just voices on the phone. Too easy to depersonalize. When you actually see them it makes a big difference.