Customer Service – the good, the bad and the ugly

It’s been a busy few weeks and I have encountered many customer service situations which must be highlighted so that we can make certain that our own companies are offering the absolute best customer service possible. In the words of Jeffrey Gitomer, customer satisfaction is worthless, customer loyalty is priceless. This is true due to the fact that a positive experience will be told to a handful of people whereas a negative one will be told to dozens. Here are my customer service experiences over the last week; each on will be scored on a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 beating stellar and 1 being a disaster.

Hotwire get a 1 on 10. I booked two nights in Toronto and managed to get into Trump Tower for $ 250 per night, however, I had to shift the nights by one day due to the fact that I was detained in Montreal. I spent two one and a half hour stints on the phone with Hotwire trying to shift the reservations and eventually gave up. The next day I arrived at my destination and much to my dismay, ny booking for the second night was not done. I finally gave up and cancelled the entire reservation. Since then, I filled out a horrible customer satisfaction survey and hav never heard back so I deleted the Hotwire app from my phone. Au Revoir Hotwire.

So I am standing in the lobby of the magnificent Trump Tower with no reservation but I am lucky enough just to be dealing with Jonathon Twigg, the front office supervisor. He informs me that he cannot match the Hotwire rate of $ 250 but can get me in at $ 350 but because of the jump in price, he will give me a $ 700 suite. Brilliant. Finally someone who gets it. Wow the customer and it will come back to you in spades. I have probably told the story over 100 times and will never stop spreading the word of Trump Toer Toronto. My stay there, albeit short, was amazing from a fine dining experience to every touch pint with a Trump employee and right down to the valet who made sure there was a fresh bottle of cold water in my car when I left. 10/10

This is a tough one because I really had high hopes. My daughter and I went to Ottawa for 24 hours and we stayed at the Hilton which was a nice hotel but when we arrived there were no rooms ready so we had to wait one hour. Now I know that could=heck in is at 4pm, but I have never had to wait for a room in my life. We asked for the manager and she spoke with us but really didn’t do anything to make the hotel look better. She kept mentioned the check in time and I finally gave up and waited. I went to the casino and that experience was a disaster. After playing poker, I decided to sit down at the roulette wheel and asked the pit boss what was the most that I could bet on a number. His attitude from the beginning was negative and condescending. After betting $ 10, he told me I had not yet made a bet so I asked for my money back which he refused. He was obviously having a bad day. I finally gave up and left to the table and asked for the operations supervisor, Richard Raymond. I told him the story and he did absolutely nothing, My sales team is empowered to fix problems, however, he decided not to. I asked politely several times but he didn’t seem to understand. It was like talking to an inanimate object. I finally gave up and left vowing never to return. 1/10

You have to love Walmart. This story is so simple that it speaks volumes. I decided to buy a Ninja juicer and got to the cash with a gift card that they had given me because I returned an item and didn’t have a bill ( cool eh ). The bill was $ 80. 47 so I asked the cashier if I could run to my car and get the change. She said sure so I ran out and realized that there was no change left and as I am returning she meets me at the door and hands me the juicer and says I have taken care of it. Simple yet amazing. 9/10

I saved the worst for last. Over the years, I have been a big Apple fan with an iPhone 6 Plus and my new iPad Pro. But Apple has changed as a company or at least their front line managers have. First, I go into the Apple Store Fairview to but my iPad Pro and there is no movement on the price. Now you may say that Apple doesn’t discount, but the reality is that everyone does. The Apple Store employee suggests that I buy the product online because you can pay over three months with no interest. Now why would any retail salesperson with a sale in the pocket, suggest that I leave and buy the product online. Perhaps on the way home I will get a call from a friend extolling the virtues of the Microsoft Surface, although I doubt it because it is a clearly inferior product. After completing the online purchase, I wake up he next morning to see that my credit card has been tapped for the whole amount instead of monthly instalments. I call Apple to complain and spend hours in a loop of different customer service representatives until I get one who has a modicum of intelligence. I get a $ 250 discount for my trouble and the IPad Pro is on its way. The second part of the story is my purchase of a Mophie juice pack which is designed to power your phone. I own it for a day and it does not work so I walk into the store and speak to AmedeeSherman, the store manager. He says let me take care of this and heads back to process the refund. Unfortunately there is one missing piece which I offer to drop off in the morning. No go. He promised that he would return my money and now I am being held up because one item is missing from the package. Is he not a man of his word. Does he not see the long term value of a customer who buys product regularly. And then it become fun for him and he jokes and laughs with the other Apple employees. Reprehensible. This treatment is the worst that I have ever received in my life. Let’s hold people accountable for †heir actions. Let’s stay away from the Apple Store in Fairview Pointe Claire. Let’s teach Amedee what it means to be a true customer service expert. It’s not complicated – just serve the customer. Final score – 0/10.

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