Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thank God for good customer service!

In the past week or so I have had two occasions of pretty exceptional customer service. So let me tell you these two quick stories:

1) I took my lovely Mini Cooper S, Lola, into the shop the other week. She was having a minor leak and I was hoping to get some routine maintenance done before my warranty ran out. I sat working while they fixed her up, cleaned, and vacuumed her and then told me she was all set to go. When I got outside and went to put my stuff in the boot (trunk for those of you who don't know the silly British slang that Mini tries to espouse), low and behold there was a new dent in the hatchback door. Oh my! My first question in my head was, "was that there before" followed quickly by, "Oh boy, even if that wasn't there before, are they going to admit to doing it?" As most of you who have had car repairs before know, it is an amazing day in heaven when the repair person actually admits to doing something wrong if you can't prove that it happened at their shop. This was the case, dent was new as far as I knew, but there was no way for me to prove that it happened there. Thus, I was seriously worried that they were not going to help me out with the dent at all. After much discussion about the recency of the dent and how I was pretty sure that I didn't come in with it, the manager offered to fix the dent and repaint the area on their tab. WOW! They very easily could have held the point that the dent didn't happen in their custody, but instead they opted to go for the good customer service, lent me a new Mini to drive home, and fixed the dent on their tab. When I went back to pick up my lovely Lola, my hatchback looks as good as the day I got her (which is better then even before the dent). So thank you so much awesome customer service at the NW Mini Dealership, you didn't have to take responsibility, but you took the high road and did it anyway!

2) On Monday morning I received an email asking me to rate my recent hotel stay at the Yountville Inn in beautiful Napa Valley. Oh boy! My heart skipped a beat as I realized that I had booked my hotel stay for February instead of March, which is when I was actually going. Since there are only 28 days in Feb, the days of the week and dates for Feb and March line up, thus while clearly a dumb mistake, it is fairly understandable. I immediately booked for the actual dates in March and then called the Yountville Inn to see if maybe I could get a discount or something since clearly it was my mistake, but I was still trying to stay with them. What I got instead of a discount was so much more. The woman at the Yountville Inn called Hotels.com for me and spoke to her supervisor, and then much to my surprise and joy got me a full refund for the visit that I missed in February. Again, she didn't have to do it, it was clearly my mistake, but in the name of good customer service she went above and beyond and I got my money back! WOO HOOO!

While customer service can often be a hard thing to deal with and we all have horror stories of customer service gone wrong, this week has proven to me that sometimes with a little kindness, good customer service still exists in this world!

NW Mini Dealership Site

Yountville Inn

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the few benefits of a down economy. The world's service providers are all doing their best to keep the few dollars to be spent flowing in. Now more than ever, Cash is King.

Hopefully this doesn't come off as cynical. But I have definitely noticed that the worse the economy gets, the more customer service has improved.

z said...

although i certainly agree with anonymous here, there are certain companies that i think do a stellar job no matter what the economy. two places that i've been shopping recently:

second accent: great on the floor customer service
http://www.secondascent.com

rei: fabulous at the desk customer service (although sometimes their on the floor isn't as awesome)
http://www.rei.com/