Customer Service

I've griped about bad customer service way too many times. Today I'm applauding. It's not often you come across people who are completely on the ball, so I'd like to hand over a few virtual service awards.

First up is Stephen from Anno. Anno has not only registered domains for Virgin Earth, Cape Connect (with the background DNS-association thing for the associated Cape Connect Classifieds system) and Aventure Power Catamaran quickly and easily, but if you send through a support request, it's responded to with the speed of light. Yesterday Favourite Man spent a long time migrating things from one server to another, which required a change in DNS values across the board. An email to Stephen and within minutes that was sorted. All that was left was for the DNS to populate propogate (oops), and it went through without a hitch. The man rocks.

Next is Lionel from Frontosa. Virgin Earth registered as a reseller with Frontosa at the beginning of the year, and - unlike other companies - Lionel as sales contact has bent over backward to help out with any and all queries. Our first purchase & delivery was a bit of a disaster - I gave his driver the wrong gate code to get into our security complex, and the poor guy ended up surrounded by security who wanted to do things to him! But Lionel didn't hold that against us. If I query a product or a price, he's on the ball and gets back to me quickly, efficiently, with the correct info - or if he can't help, he'll say so. There are others who take months to answer a simple question - but not Lionel. If he ever gets tired of my uninformed questions, he doesn't show it - and as a result Frontosa is a top company in my opinion. They'll get any business I can throw their way.

A slightly stranger award goes to LandyParts4Africa, which not everyone would hand over given the circumstances of this one, but read on to find out why I am. After a bit of shopping around for brake discs, they came up with a good price. They're on the other side of the country but were willing to courier the things to me, still coming in cheaper than the competition. Between two long weekends, the package arrived. Unfortunatley only half of it arrived.... one staff member had, in his enthusiasm to process the order, forgotten that brake discs come in pairs! A quick call to the guys at LandyParts4Africa revealed he was indeed on holiday - but between the lady who answered the phone and the guy who checked the stock, they did some serious scrambling and managed to get the second part to the couriers - at their expense. Which is why they get a customer service award. Yes, they made a mistake, but they admitted it and bent over backwards to fix it. Have an award!

Which brings me to the next award. Globe Flight Couriers. They have an easy to manage tracking system on their site, from which I was able to tell when the first package would arrive - and where it was currently. I phoned their Cape Town office to get a time to expect the driver, they said "late afternoon" - which, going on past experience with others meant "probably next week after we're done with all our holidays" - but the guy turned up half an hour later, way earlier than they'd said. With the second package, instead of delivering it on the next working day (which was Saturday thanks to public holidays), they turned up at my front door on Thursday. Yes, the public holiday Thursday. Sommer first thing in the morning too. Globe Flight is on the top of my list should I need something sent somewhere.

Those are today's awards. They're very well deserved.

If you're dealing with customers today, if you're answering a phone, sending off an email or simply producing results for a boss as part of your job, give this some thought - are you providing top notch customer service? Will the people you come into contact with today go "WOW" after you've done your thing, and come back for more? Or are you going to fall into the "avoid like the plague" category come end of day?

Me, I'd rather be awesome.