Thursday, July 20, 2017

Customer service is not what it used to be

I was called by a local business today to pay for a maintenance service on my in-ground pool. My debit card on file had expired. I explained that the technician hadn't completed the job and they had accidentally broke an expensive valve on my pool equipment and I was told I would have my pool back in service today. This happened Friday. The guy was friendly and an expert and I thanked my lucky stars I didn't tackle the job.

The lady told me I was paying for the part of the job that was originally scheduled and I wouldn't be charged for the other repair. I told her that is not how it works. Once I pay, what is their impetus to finish the job? She informed me that they have other jobs scheduled and they would fix it Wednesday, but would I kindly update my information so they could be paid. At this point, I realized all logic was out the window and I told her I would get back to her.

Then she threw down this catch phrase, which any business or customer service should eliminate at all levels, "No problem" and she hung up. I will never, ever pay for a service until it is completed satisfactorily and her implication that there was no problem told me all she was interested in doing was clearing my ticket. I fully intend to make a very civil complaint to the owner.

I will pay extra every time for excellent service, but I have a problem in that until I experience it, I inherently don't trust it. In other words, I don't believe everyone who claims to be an expert, or a professional knows what they are doing. My pool guy was very good and an expert and seeing he is being paid to do what he was doing, he is a professional, so understand my complaint is not about him. Stuff happens and in my case, it meant replacing the entire pump motor, housing, and pump assembly.

It was a simple PVC job right? NOT and that's why I decided I would turn it over to the pros and just pay the labor charges, as I had the entire replacement assembly already. You see, there are specifications on how high the discharge of the pump is to maximize flow, etcetera and I could see that by cutting into the pipe, I would probably have to modify all that and sure enough, I could mess something up.

And it happened and the manual valve to direct flow was cracked on the bottom and I thanked my lucky stars that I did not do this. He assured me it would be covered and then schooled me to make sure the tech who worked on it did certain things if it wasn't him. Okay, I can let my 18,000 gallon salt pool set for 3 days, but then we had a lot of storms which blew a barrel of leaves into the pool. In our climate, letting your pool set for 5 days is a big no-no. No problem.

What I needed at this point was customer service calling me Monday morning checking on me, but this didn't happen. By noon I called and had the above conversation. No problem. No problem? Are you kidding me?  I have half a dumpster of leaves in my pool and my injured neck has more twists in it than a pretzel. I got my 15 foot pole with a net on the end and tried to get them off the bottom while my pool cleaner sat idly by laughing at me. No problem.

This company needs to worry less about closing out tickets and more on the care and follow up they provide, but am I just talking about a single pool company here? I think not. I think it is endemic these days and many businesses should see a red flag. The bottom line is people, customer service, and how they feel treated. I hate when someone tells me "No problem" when I have a problem. Tell me you will fix it, or that you are here to get rid of my problem instead. "I appreciate it!" "No problem..." Geeze. Spare me.

Note: Five days later my pool was restored and only after I asked for a complimentary pool cleaning, they agreed, but why did I have to ask?  No problem. 


Anonymous said...

Buddy D. Casto: Yerp, usually NO PROBLEM, is a direct indication, that there is,
A PROBLEM!!! Good article BB!!!!

Anonymous said...

You know Bert, I was customer service for 30 yr and would sometimes say "no problem ". I think it's all in the tone. I always had high customer service scores. You can tell when you have someone wanting to help. Glad you got your pool fixed. ...Debi

Anonymous said...

Brian Kissell: When I get great service at a business, which is rare, I love to ask for the manager to let her/him know. The person kind of panics, but when I say why, they hurry off. The manager says that good comments don't happen very often.

Anonymous said...

DDC: I meant to post this morning about how great your column was this morning. I always appreciate them so much. Thank you, my brother for your insight.

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...