Monday, October 8, 2007

Service is a wonderful thing

I'm off the journalism path a bit today -- forced to wait at home for a service call. And it has been some wait...

It started seven weeks ago when I learned I would need an upgrade (it doesn't really matter what upgrade, or whom would be providing it). Although I've been a good paying customer to this company for more than eight years, I was told it would be six weeks before a service crew could come out. Six weeks!!!

What can you do? I waited six weeks. Finally, last Wednesday, the day arrived. As I waited for the service provider, my phone rang. Sorry, there's no merchandise in the warehouse. We'll have to reschedule.

The new service window is today, between 8 a.m. and noon. But instead of holding my breath while I'm being held hostage, I thought I'd do something productive and blog.

I'm sure you've all had similar experiences. It makes you wonder how companies can stay in business -- or how much better their businesses might be if they could just provide reliable service to customers.

A friend was promised satellite television service before the NFL games kicked off two Sundays ago. He invited friends over and planned a football-watching party. The workers never showed up. They did arrive the following Sunday morning, but forgot to bring a tall ladder that was needed to install the dish. He's still waiting, too.

I wish the Herald was delivering so many newspapers every day that we couldn't keep up with our customers. I say this knowing that we're not perfect -- it's possible you've had missed or wet papers, or your Herald hasn't been delivered on time. But I can assure you that service is important to us. Circulation Director Terry Tramell and his staff work hard each day, seven days a week, to make sure that the sort of frustration I'm feeling right now isn't experienced by our good customers.

Oh, uh. My phone just rang. The service crew is running late...



Anonymous said...

From my experience that is how everything works down here.

Anonymous said...

Providing quality home service is very difficult. As a business owner who has represented many manufacturers over the years, we have been forced to push our techs, schedule numerous calls on a route basis, and get substandard reimbursements from manufacturers. It is very hard to provide good service when you cant make money on a service call. Much of this problem is caused by so called extended warranties people purchase. These warranties have pretty much devestated the businesses ability to provide good service. So, anyway, it's not always the fault of the service provider. He or she is only trying to stay in business. We have a 95% satisfaction rate. We would like it to be everyone. Another factor is the increasingly crowded roads. You cant make a living when a person who cost you $86.00 per hour is wasting half his day in heavy traffic.

Anonymous said...

Hogwash. The problem is "extended warranties", I think not. The problem is "traffic", please.

The problem is a lack of work ethic and substandard service being provided and being accepted. If your manufacturers/customers are not paying on time then it is time to get new customers and/or change your business model. If "you" own the business and that business is not providing a great service or product for whatever reason than it it is your fault/responsibiliy.