Great (and not so great) Customer Service

So I have been switching over to a new credit card and shopping cart system. Sigh. The process is horrendous and I keep finding new things I have to fix. We have to transfer people from our old database, we have to get all our people to re-optin (Tammy Mac this means you…:) We have to set up forms and autoresponders and other terrible things. I have been on hold with customer service for what seems like days!

The bright spot in all of this is the great guys over at Today I talked to Andy who did everything he could to help fix a form for me (I am still working on getting it to look right BUT he really tried!!). I also tend to get Mark a lot when I call – I am SERIOUS, it has been over 20 times in the last two weeks. He is VERY patient and knows A LOT about the product.

Having chosen a vendor, I have definitely had my decision reinforced that it was a good one. Great customer service is NOT the norm these days so you find it, treasure it!

That having been said, I have also had terrible customer service lately.

Adobe. A HUGE company that just got $643 from me for a software update has terrible customer service. The customer service rep I spoke with had no knowledge of the english language. He put me on hold for over 10 minutes to try and find a form that I needed to have emailed to me and never sent the form. He was rude. I am sorry I have to use Adobe. NOT a good experience.

Discover Card sold me out. I have a merchant account with Bank of America now (it is going away soon!). BOA has a terrible back end system that is impossible to reconcile, making my accountant sad BUT that is not why I am so glad to be leaving them! I opted to have Discover offered as one of the credit cards I accepted. No fewer than 8 different “Discover Partners” have called me offering services for “free”. They are not free, they just want me to sign up for a service for free for a little bit and then start charging me when I forget to cancel. Double sigh. I have told them I do not need a website or promotions or anything else but they still call. I hate Discover now.

This is not rocket science. Having a company culture that rewards customer service is vital. Letting your customers know that you will not sell their name should be standard. Having someone answer your phone with a cheerful hello costs exactly the same amount as having a surly receptionist.

It all starts at the top. If you are a small business owner with no employees, take a look at how you are operating. If you are a small business owner with a staff, talk to them tomorrow about what they can do to make your customers happy.

Happy is good. Hate is bad.

Tara Jacobsen, Marketing Speaker, Consultant, AuthorTara Jacobsen is the owner of Marketing Artfully, a marketing services and consulting company focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs and Realtors. Find out more about her Small Business Marketing Services today!


  1. says

    Hey Taradactyl! I would say that when you take a look at your business, ask yourself if you are easy to do business with? Like when you sign up for a class and and the sign in website will not take your payment!

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