Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Contrast In Customer Service

 

One of the downsides of living without a car is that you rely on delivery services or ride sharing to obtain groceries.

I decided to make use of the Walmart delivery service, which uses Doordash. When my order arrived, it was entirely wrong. All of the diet soda was regular soda, not even one of the frozen items was the correct variety. I did not want to sign for the delivery, since it was not what I requested. The driver was apologetic (he had not picked the order) and he contacted Doordash customer service.

That was a mistake. The representative was less interactive than a phone tree, and simply repeated the policy over and over again. I was to work out the matter with the store. I was given no guarantee that I would get any redelivery or refund, so I refused to sign for the items. The woman continued repeating the policy, seemingly unaware that she could not force me to sign for the items that I had not requested.

I went off to talk with Walmart delivery services, expecting more of the same. What I got was a surprise – the lady was a native English speaker, polite/professional, and was actually outraged at the massive screwup by the store staff. She said that the company would eat the cost, and either give a re-delivery or refund. I told her she had saved Walmart delivery a lost customer, and gave her a rave review afterward.

Back to the Doordash people: I let them know that Walmart settled things, and I offer the driver the soda for making him wait. It looks like a happy ending, but instead, we get a call from the Doordash robot chick, who states that now she has decided to process a refused delivery, something she never mentioned before, and the driver needs to remove all of the groceries. I ended up giving the driver $5 cash for taking up so much of his time. (Doordash drivers are like Uber drivers – paid by the gig)

The contrast between the two was stunning. It reminded me of another situation I ran into while attempting to reserve a room for the Milwaukee meetup. I found a pricey room with a company similar to AirBnB, as everything else was sold out. I reserved the room and went to pay but my card was declined. I tried my Discover card, and I still had no success. I contacted Discover customer service, and I reached a pleasant and professional lady with clear English who told me my account was fine, and they troubleshoot the situation thoroughly; it was on the vendor.

I called the vendor, and I get someone with English as a fifth language. It was painful to explain the situation – what I got was that their credit card approval system was down, for an undetermined length of time. I was already suspicious of the company, and that was that for my plans of staying the night.

Customer service matters. It is the difference between loyal customers and people leaving in rage. I wonder if some of Chick-fil-A’s ability to overcome the protests was based on their reliably awesome customer service?

What are some of your stories major contrasts in customer service?

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There are 24 comments.

  1. Guruforhire Member

    People underestimate just how important a good customer recovery process is.

    • #1
    • November 12, 2019, at 3:15 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  2. Annefy Member

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    • #2
    • November 12, 2019, at 4:17 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Back at some point in the 90’s we changed banks from a credit union (a huge San Antonio credit union with horrible service) to a much more massive national bank. I learned that large institutions could have excellent service, and in fact sometimes be preferable to smaller local businesses. I buy local as much as I can but service counts the most.

    • #3
    • November 12, 2019, at 4:21 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Brian Wyneken Member

    A pivotal point in my early working years was when my boss at K-Mart (an F-4 Phantom pilot during Vietnam) put his arm around my shoulder and said “Brian, do you know why people come to shop at K-Mart? Well, I’m not always sure but I do know that it’s not just so that you can give them a hard time.” [back story: I had just finished stacking cases of anti-freeze in a pyramid all the way up to the ceiling. I was admiring my handiwork when a customer came up and asked me if we had anti-freeze. I said “sure, follow me” and I led him around the entire perimeter of the store, returned to the pyramid and said “well, whaddya know, anti-freeze!” The boss had observed all of this as I was often in need of observing those days.]

    When I encounter bad customer service, I just figure I deserve it.

    • #4
    • November 12, 2019, at 4:37 PM PST
    • 22 likes
  5. Spin Coolidge

    Annefy (View Comment):

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    It ain’t that great…

    • #5
    • November 12, 2019, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  6. Annefy Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    It ain’t that great…

    My daughter with two little ones is a fan. As someone who is still complaining about customer service I suffered when she was my little one, her word means a lot.

    • #6
    • November 12, 2019, at 5:12 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    I am a Professional Customer by trade (aerospace buyer), and I try to reward good customer service. From Day One in my career, I have learned a lot from my suppliers, both inside sales and outside sales. And I pay close attention to customer service in the outside world. Most of my business these days is by email, but I really appreciate it when I can get one of my account managers on the phone when I have an issue. Then, there’s the one who never answers his phone-always goes to voicemail. Bad idea.

    • #7
    • November 12, 2019, at 5:47 PM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Paul Erickson Member

    I think it’s a 2 way street. I have used the same roofer and tree service for a number of years. They are both a little expensive, but do excellent work. When a big ol’ oak fell on my house Halloween night, these guys were there the next morning to take care of us.

    Tree vs house. House wins.
    • #8
    • November 12, 2019, at 8:10 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

     This is part of our November series on the theme: “Service.” We still have one day open, so march on over and sign up for your own post…or feel free to roll out a bonus post!

    • #9
    • November 12, 2019, at 9:10 PM PST
    • Like
  10. PHCheese Member

    I recently compared the Chick to the Mac. I love soft serve ice cream and of course the Chick isn’t open on Sunday so I went to the Mac. Never again. They are hopeless. I know they encourage hiring the handicapped but everyone? If the one near me is an example sell your McDonald’s Stock yesterday.

    • #10
    • November 13, 2019, at 4:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I’m sure many of us have had issues with credit card fraud. I had a card with the giant company that asked what card was in my wallet. They were the worst. Someone at a small dress shop in south Florida scanned my card (it had to be there, it was the only time I used the card) and sold the number to whomever. I found out a few weeks later when the credit card company contacted me. A guy in rural North Carolina using an online dating service, a set of dishes for 20 along with other household items at an east-coast Florida Walmart, a Florida Power and Light bill on the west coast. I had a stack of paper literally six inches high that I sent the card company several times over the period of eight months detailing my whereabouts and asserting that I had never owned property in the state of Florida, I was not male and in need of a date, I had never been to North Carolina. I of course cancelled the account.

    Contrast that with Amex. I did not make that charge, no problem; here is a new card overnight delivery. Thank you for your loyalty. We use Amex for everything and they have been very good to us, including establishing credit for my husband when he was just starting his business.

    I did have fun with the guy in NC. Logged in to his account at the Christian singles website, changed everything he was looking for and re-wrote his little essay. He was a real estate broker. He said he was Catholic. Yeah, fat chance on that one.

    • #11
    • November 13, 2019, at 6:32 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Songwriter Member

    Publix grocery stores have great service. And I always chose Publix when I could. (Sadly there are none in Texas…). It’s my understanding that good service is part of their corporate culture. And the employees are part of profit-sharing plan. 

     

    • #12
    • November 13, 2019, at 6:37 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    OmegaPaladin: What I got was a surprise – the lady was a native English speaker

    I think many businesses underestimate how important this is. Even a polished English-speaking “not his native language” person may not be able to understand all the regional dialects and colloquialisms when dealing with customer service.

    • #13
    • November 13, 2019, at 7:03 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Aaron Miller Member

    I bought a pair of Beexcellent headphones many months ago, because they were cheap, after my Turtle Beach headphones deteriorated with age. The former lasted well enough, so I wrote a review on Amazon. I gave the product only 3 of 5 stars because the volume wheel hung at chest level and could be adjusted accidentally. 

    Beexcellent emailed me (through Amazon’s info) to offer a free replacement as well as an opportunity to test future products. It’s the only time a company has ever offered a product replacement without me requesting one. I originally refused the offer because I had got what I payed for, headphones worth the price that lasted well enough. But they insisted. And the new headset’s volume wheel is sturdier, so no accidental adjustments. 

    It was a fleeting one-time purchase. But now I will always look at Beexcellent’s product options. And the service prompted me to update my Amazon review, which is what they wanted. 

    • #14
    • November 13, 2019, at 7:34 AM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Chris Gregerson Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    We don’t have a Chick-fil-A in Leavenworth, Kansas. So the nearest store sends a team to our town 3 days a week, rain, snow, or shine. They have 3 types of sandwiches and bags of chips and cans of soda. This way beyond customer service. 

    • #15
    • November 13, 2019, at 7:45 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Aaron Miller Member

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Publix grocery stores have great service. And I always chose Publix when I could. (Sadly there are none in Texas…). It’s my understanding that good service is part of their corporate culture. And the employees are part of profit-sharing plan.

     

    Publix and Kroger’s win my respect by hiring the mentally handicapped as baggers. Publix employed my schizophrenic cousin for years and was very tolerant of his occasional scheduling difficulties. The baggers with Down Syndrome brighten the day of many customers and do the job no worse than the careless teenagers who otherwise fill the role. 

    The “service first” model is fine in theory but is often purely theoretical. I worked a few retail jobs. The big chains often base their profit model on running a skeleton crew, which is rough on employees and customers alike. More than a few times at a Home Depot, I had to cover a department in addition to my own… without much knowledge of that department’s stock or services. I once covered 3 departments — plumbing, lumber, and building materials — by myself for a few hours, with customers regularly on each of the 8 aisles in need of assistance. I had to inform one customer that no one in the entire store presently knew how to order the door she wanted. 

    Good customer service costs money. There’s no way around the investment. 

    • #16
    • November 13, 2019, at 7:47 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  17. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    The thing I’ll miss the most after the collapse of Sears: If you bought something from the catalog or their website you could return or exchange it in person at the store.

    • #17
    • November 13, 2019, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):
    I have used the same roofer and tree service for a number of years.

    If you require frequent service from a roofer I think it’s evidence that there are nefarious forces at work. Are you sure your house isn’t cursed?

    ;-)

    • #18
    • November 13, 2019, at 9:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. Aaron Miller Member

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    The thing I’ll miss the most after the collapse of Sears: If you bought something from the catalog or their website you could return or exchange it in person at the store.

    Doesn’t Walmart offer nearly everything Sears did? Their online and brick stores probably have the same deal.

    • #19
    • November 13, 2019, at 9:12 AM PST
    • Like
  20. Suspira Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    It ain’t that great…

    My daughter with two little ones is a fan. As someone who is still complaining about customer service I suffered when she was my little one, her word means a lot.

    Trust me, Chick-fil-A is the gold standard for fast food. I’ve never had a bad experience (I used to take my grandson there a lot for nuggets and their playground). And the chicken sandwich is really good.

    • #20
    • November 13, 2019, at 9:26 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    We don’t have a Chik Fil A nearby, so I rarely go there.

    But I’ve never heard anything but good stories and I love this review.

    Lady bragging on Chick-fil-A customer service

    It ain’t that great…

    My daughter with two little ones is a fan. As someone who is still complaining about customer service I suffered when she was my little one, her word means a lot.

    Trust me, Chick-fil-A is the gold standard for fast food. I’ve never had a bad experience (I used to take my grandson there a lot for nuggets and their playground). And the chicken sandwich is really good.

    I love them! I usually don’t eat fast food unless I’m traveling, but I always seem to find a Chik-fil-A when I’m on the road on a Sunday . . .

    • #21
    • November 13, 2019, at 10:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Paul Erickson Member

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):
    I have used the same roofer and tree service for a number of years.

    If you require frequent service from a roofer I think it’s evidence that there are nefarious forces at work. Are you sure your house isn’t cursed?

    ;-)

    Different houses.

    • #22
    • November 13, 2019, at 3:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Juliana Member

    Chik-fil-A is the best, but Culver’s comes in a close second. 

    I stopped going to McDonald’s a long time ago. I would order a plain quarter pound hamburger and inevitably they would put cheese on it. I once argued with a manager who tried to explain to me that plain included cheese. And of course, I went through the drive up, so I had to park, get out of my car, and into the store. Even when I said no cheese, there would be the cheese congealing in front of my eyes. For a while, every fast food jaunt was an adventure because I never knew what I would bring home.

    I hate my bank. I would like to go elsewhere, but unfortunately am not in a position to do so at this time. I’ve started telling them very matter-of-factly, after they apologize yet again for making me wait, that I really don’t expect service from this bank. No one has asked me why. The phone service is the worst. By the time I reach a real person, who asks the same questions their interminable robot system just did, I am livid, and not much fun to deal with.

    I try to tell someone who does their job well that I appreciate it. Especially the lab tech at the doctor’s office who draws my blood. Every once in a while I will get someone who is really good and I will tell them so.

    I was at the grocery store once, and the female cashier was having some difficulty with the guy in front of me. He actually said, “that time of the month?” The poor girl got flustered and he finished his transaction and moved on. I asked her if she wanted me to go slap him for her, but she smiled and declined.

    • #23
    • November 14, 2019, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    I have never hated a bank until I had to deal with Wells Fargo. Besides having some awful policies, the tellers apparently receive no training on dealing with some fairly routine matters, at least at the Wells Fargo closest to me.

    • #24
    • November 15, 2019, at 5:10 AM PST
    • Like