It's Friday night and weather at Newark has caused another flight cancellation. The lines are long, but the staff is excellent and moving through the line quickly. And then I find out why. As pleasant, compassionate and friendly as they are, they are singularly focused on serving the customer quickly; yet not efficiently.
I've been asked, "Where are you from?" more times at the bank than at any other workplace. The query is almost always followed by an individual's shock of how kind, efficient, or great my service was. In their mind, there's no way a black girl from [insert black country here] can be so nice at customer service.
Like millions of other cell phone users, I've had to suffer the trials and tribulations of my phone company's customer service or what might more accurately be called their customer disservice. It all started with a text message to my daughter Sarah's phone informing her that she had reached 100 per cent usage for our shared 3 GB data plan.
Canadians love to complain about bad customer service. Twenty years ago, that might have meant griping over the phone or telling the tale over dinner. Today, that sharing can spread far and wide in the moment it happens over a myriad of social channels -- with photos to add flair. Businesses are taking note, not simply so they can provide good service, but so they can give customers the right service.
In a world where government bureaucrats continually treat residents as "taxable widgets" instead of citizens and where process overrules logic and common sense, the Ford family's apparent commitment to servicing every constituent complaint is not only refreshing but exactly what some constituents are looking for. The question though is whether or not it is the right approach to a growing and vibrant city.
The two-time repetition of the words "It's coming...it's coming," a double-header separated by an ellipses-length beat, instead revealed a sense of frustration, denial and even ignorance on the part of the waiter, leading the guest to feel somewhat shoved aside, her concerns ignored and the problem still festering.
The CRTC and the government should stop playing whack a mole and fully open up our networks by splitting them from Big Telecom control so Canadians can access all providers on an equal basis. We've seen again and again how Big Telecom will take any chance they can to mistreat and price-gouge Canadians, and it's time to make some common sense reforms.
We drove to Seattle, parked right in the heart of the city, strolled over to the shopping district and headed to Nordstom for a touch of "Sex And The City" glam, browsing beautiful designer purses, sun glasses, and, of course, shoes! And that's when our chick flick turned horror story: as my friend tried on a pair of Steve Madden boots, she left her Marc Jacobs purse, shopping bags and other merchandise on a chair. She took two steps forward, glanced in the mirror to see how the boots looked and immediately realized her purse was stolen. What happened next stole our hearts.
It turns out that consumers want one thing: their issues resolved. And, they want it done fast. Faster than fast. The challenge is this: the majority of brands act fast... as fast as they can. Sadly, it's not even close to being fast enough for consumers. Now, brands and consumers are going to have move forward and figure out a way to define what the true speed limits are.
The customer experience becomes more important now than ever in a down economy. Especially when shoppers are now open to the idea of visiting your competition, unless you provided them with a shopping experience previously, that they don't want to trade. The more loyal your customers are, the better positioned you are to survive a downturn.