Pixie Portal

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Good Service & Bad Service



Today I experienced Good Service & Bad Service.

Let me tell you about the BAD SERVICE WITH KINKO'S.
Karen had placed a printing order on Saturday afternoon for 17 coil-bound books. She gave Kinko's our home phone number so they could call us when the order was complete (which they NEVER do). I called them at noon today to confirm the order was ready. It took 5+ minutes of being on hold before someone confirmed that it was ready. So I arrive 5 minutes later to pay for the order and arrange for it to be FedEx'd.

I stood in line for 20 MINUTES before anyone acknowledged my existence. There was only one customer in front of me who was in a deep discussion about the type and paper quality of her business card order. I counted five employees, all working behind the counter, who could not spare the time to greet me and tell me that someone would be right with me. For a while, I thought I was invisible.

But I'm breathing and I'm calm. I had just finished my workout and had enjoyed several Diet Cokes. I was feeling fine. When I was finally helped, it was (heaven forbid!) from one of the "team managers". He found my order and rang me up. I tried to pay with my American Express card. I swiped it several times. I still feel patient at this point.

The customer waiting in line behind me was a store owner of the next-door shop. He informs the manager that the DSL lines are down and that he couldn't process credit cards either. I can't begin to describe the total panic on the manager's face.

The manager asks me for another credit card. I suppress the giggles and give him my Mastercard. Surprise, Surrpise. That doesn't work either!

He runs to the back office to find the hard-copy credit card machine. It can't be found. He decides to look in EVERY drawer in the store for it. He was flapping around like a chicken with it's head cut off. For some reason, he wants some company on this great quest and motions for me to follow him around.

I tell him that while he looks for it that I'm going to step over to the FedEx guy (located within the Kinko's store). I receive my box of books and walk it over. NOW, we had specifically told Kinko's that we would be FedEx'ing the order. Kinko's has partnered with FedEx and supposedly you can print and ship your stuff without ever going to the store. Kinko's has spent a lot of advertising space and money to inform us of this service.

Can you guess what happened? The box my books were placed in was not a shipping box but one of those flimsy boxes with the hand-holding holes on the side. The FedEx guy takes this box, wraps bubble wrap around the outside of it, inserts the box within another box, smiles and charges me an additional 13 DOLLARS for this service. What a crock!!

At this point the FedEx driver has arrived and I just want the shipment out the door. So I don't argue about the waste of having two boxes. Or the extraordinary fee.

I simply return to the Kinko's counter and wait for the team manager to stop flapping. Again, I am totally ignored. I could have walked out without paying at anytime. I finally have to shout across the room to ask the whereabouts of the team manager. He pops his head out of his office, eating a sandwich!! He writes down my credit card information, phone numbers and such and tells me he will call me when he has a receipt ready for me.

He NEVER apologized. He STILL has not called.

Time at Kinko's - 52 MINUTES.

Now, let me tell you about the GREAT SERVICE AT HOME DEPOT.

I went to Home Depot to return my empty water bottle for my water dispensing machine and to buy a full bottle. I stop at the carts as I know I will need one to wheel out the full bottle. There is a gentleman drying the carts (it was raining and the carts were wet). He sees me coming, pulls out a dry cart and asks me if I would like to have it. I thank him and he tells me "You're welcome".

There is no wait at the returns area of the store (where the water bottle exchange occurs). I am greeted warmly. The clerk loads the heavy water bottle into my cart and asks if I would like help out. I graciously decline and thank her for her help. She wishes me a good day.

SIMPLE, FRIENDLY, EFFICIENT.

Time at Home Depot - 3 MINTUES

I have noticed that when I have a particularly bad customer service experience that it is usually followed by a good one. I think it is God/Universe throwing me a bone to keep me from going ballistic and losing faith and hope in the kindness of my fellow humans. For this, I am grateful.

By the way, if you enjoy customer service rants, check out Seth Godin's blog. He often writes about how companies need to focus on being extraordinary (particularly to their customers).

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