January 28, 2008

Customer Service - Doin' it right

Instead of complaining about customer service, this time I've got two accounts of it being done right. It gives me hope.

On my last driving trip from the NWT, I purchased a Milk2Go from the gas station. When it came time to drink it, I just couldn't. There was nothing wrong with the milk - it was the bottle. The edge of the bottle smelled foul.

The day after I got home, I called the toll-free number on the bottle. I was directed to Deborah's voice mail where I left a message. What? No call centre? Before long, I got a call back from Deborah who listened to my story.   She took the relevant information and told me that she would look into it and find out why I got a stinky bottle.

The next day, she called back again. She had spoken to the food scientists/production people and explained to me what had made the smell.

Today I got a letter from her with a voucher for a replacement of my Milk2Go, but more importantly (to me), she let me know that they told their quality services folks about the problem. And she thanked me for letting them know. 

OK, so it may have been a form letter, but it was signed by her, in pen.

She did everything right when handling my customer complaint.  She:
  1. Listened to my concerns.
  2. Promptly investigated my concerns.
  3. Explained the cause of the problem.
  4. Did something to help prevent it from happening again.
  5. Thanked me for helping them identify a problem.

I've got to take my hat off to Lorraine, the Acting Manager at the NorthwesTel Customer Care Centre.   She got it right, too.

After my experience trying to set up a NorthwesTel Sympatico account, I had just about given up.  I was stubborn, though, and insisted on leaving a message with a manager at  NorthwesTel even though the customer service agent insisted that the Sympatico service "wasn't theirs."  As far as I was concerned, if a business promotes a service by using its brand, even if it's provided by someone else, it's just as much that businesses' responsibility as it is the service provider's.

The manager that I left a message with was Lorraine.  Lorrained called me back to tell me what was going on (which I knew), but more importantly, she told me what was being done about it, and we can expect some announcements from NorthwesTel in the coming months.

I had a couple of questions that required follow-up, which she did diligently, helpfully, and happily.  Hat's-off to Lorraine; employees like her are worth their weight in gold.  I am no longer as annoyed with NorthwesTel as I was.  In fact, I might even be a little happy with them, all because of Lorraine's customer service skills.

Now, if only Air Canada would start paying attention.

1 comment:

ExploreNorth said...

NorthwesTel gets trashed a lot, but my interaction from them has always been a positive experience. Particularly when I was at Carcross, the work was often not easy, but the people on the phone and the techs have always gone out of their way to figure out what the problem is and then fix it. I got a phone survey from NWTel a couple of weeks ago, and the woman who called was pleased but also seemed quite surprised at my positive answers to the questions. Which makes me wonder if the people who get bad service aren't getting what they give. I know what would happen if any of my clients give me attitude when they have a problem.