Rants And Raves
be told, my wife Bernadette, doesn't enjoy
flying. In fact
she'd rather drive two days to avoid flying
2 1/2 hours.
So when my niece Kate
sent us a wedding invitation to Pittsburgh
we immediately got the maps out and plotted
our way from Sarasota
While I'm not the most
observant person on the planet, I do pay
particular attention to customer service or
the lack of it.
Here are two quick tales
with 180° of separation.
First the rave. On the
trip Bernadette's new iPhone wasn't
working. Well, she could do everything except
hear or be heard
when she was doing the calling. Aside from
this everything else
was okay with the phone.
As soon as we got to
Pittsburgh we located the nearest Apple
We opened the door to
the store and were immediately blown away
and impressed by the customer service and
the attention to detail
provided by the Apple staff.
There were 16 employees
and each person was wearing a blue shirt.
There were three greeters.
B - explained what her problem was.
The greeter, using an iPad, scheduled an appointment
of his technicians.
Everyone seemed to be
positive and energetic. I had this weird
sensation that they actually liked their products
and the store
they were working in - you don't see that
When it was our turn,
the Apple Technician, asked several questions
and did a couple of diagnostic tests on the
The verdict was a malfunctioning
headset jack which was interfering
with hearing and being heard when using the
The technician said
he would be happy to replace the iPhone at
It was truly a memorable
being at Macy's a week earlier and having
for a sales clerk to ring up our order.
The Apple staff oozed
The Apple store solved
So I'm wondering, why
can't every retail experience be like the
Apple experience we enjoyed?
It's probably because,
in most companies, management doesn't get
it or they just don't care enough to offer
a customer service
experience that exceeds all expectations.
Now the rant. Next it was off for a light
lunch because we had
an early dinner reservation with friends who
spend their summers
We decided on the Cheesecake
It was a mob scene.
Their business was obviously booming.
B ordered a burger and
I ordered chicken wings.
When my wings were served,
it didn't take too long to be
After one bite into
the first wing I could see it was bloody
rare. So I took another careful bite out of
the second wing
with the same undercooked and bloody results.
We waved to our server,
who after seeing the condition of the
wings quickly apologized and said she would
send the manager
to our table and also ordered every placement
order of the wings
Okay - stuff happens.
I say, when you have a problem fix it ASAP.
So the manager came
to our table. He said his name is Chuck.
He was either delusional,
stupid, whacked out on drugs or just
the most incompetent person alive in Pittsburgh
I know you're thinking
I'm being too severe in judging his
What would your reaction
be if Chuck told you the wings won not
undercooked. They were perfectly okay to eat
because all their
wings are cooked twice.
He went on to explain
that what we saw was just the harmless
bone marrow in the wings.
I looked at B. She looks
We couldn't believe
he offered this lame excuse as a rational
How could he be so stupid
to think we were so stupid to think
the wings that were bloody rare were edible?
It's true when you say
hindsight is 20/20.
What I should have done
was get a Cheesecake Factory menu, the
bill, and use my iPhone to take a picture
of everything including
the bloody rare chicken wings.
But I didn't and all
I have now is another example of dreadful
Look, if you screw up,
fess up and make things right.
How many times a week
are you experiencing customer service that
exceeds your expectations?
If you want to get sales
up when the economy is down every
service provider should be trying to exceed
When you think about
customer service rants and raves there is
really 180° of separation.
I'm looking forward
to going back to the Apple store again. I
would of course consider going back to a Cheesecake
restaurant if they were the only restaurant
that was open in
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