owen at owengreaves dot com

Posts Tagged ‘Service’

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Respond

How many times have we this, actions speak louder than words…it’s just another way of saying, it’s not what you say, it’s how you respond. Everything we do and say comes from some form of stimulus, we saw something, we heard something, and then we responded. I’ve said this before, and I teach it often, we are the ONLY creatures on earth that have the ability to STOP, THINK, THEN….decide how to respond. We can actually stop in the heat of the moment, every other creature on the planet can’t stop, they merely react.

The Problem

Often, in our day…we have things happen that completely frustrate us, most of us react in a way that tells everyone around, you’re not happy with what just happened or was said. I run other businesses, and sometimes things happen that are truly out of your control, you can’t fix it, you don’t control the situation, you have to rely on other people not under your tent.

One of my businesses is a webhosting business, sometimes things break, and have nothing to do with me and my team, things don’t happen the way they should, and take far too long to get resolved. In the meantime, customers can’t do certain things, can’t manage their website’s, or add email accounts.

With so many webhosting companies getting attacked, I’m actually surprised their aren’t bigger problems. Everyday there attempts to break into servers, billing systems, and WordPress sites. The amount of work that goes into protecting yourself is staggering at times. Companies like GoDaddy & Hostgator go down regularly, sometimes unnoticed, other times they can’t hide….third-party software companies go through the same things. Most companies it’s licenses, they keep those licenses alive remotely (not locally), so when that third party company goes down, so does all their customers, we can’t run the software to play or run our businesses. When that happens, it’s out of my hands, out of my control, there is nothing I can do but wait! Then frustration sets in.

So, how do you respond when you find yourself in this out of control situation?

The Solution

The point is, we can’t possibly control everything, and we can’t stay in a perpetual state of frustration and anger, it’s just not healthy, we have to learn how to wait, learn how to trust other people doing everything they can to resolve the problem(s). So when things go sideways, try to keep things in perspective, error on the side of grace, and let those who can actually solve the problem, do their job, waiting is sometimes part of the job, part of being in business.

Like I said, it’s not what you say, it’s how you respond. Sometimes what you say, is not how you should respond, stop, think about how you should respond in a calm rational way, then respond. It’s too easy to get mad. Someone once said, the first one to get mad loses.

I have tried to live a my life with consistency, I don’t tend to get mad, but sometimes my direct style of communication gets me in trouble. I’ve always told the truth, I don’t know how to lie, I was good at as a kid, but as an adult, a business person, it’s not a good practice. I would rather have influence over someone than authority, the later is not an effective way to manage people or run a business.

I hope this gives you some perspective, something to think about, something you can practice and put into action. People are watching, people are listening, and they are always assessing what kind of person / leader you are, don’t let what you say undo all the good you’ve done. It’s not what you say, it’s how you respond. If it makes you feel better, I’m having one of those days where my response may come from the dark side of Owen : )

 

Update From Owen Greaves

Forgive my abscence in posting this past week or so, I request that you keep us in your prayers as my father-In-Law passed away Nov 3rd at 8:15AM. The family is currently preparing a service, and I am serving where ever they need me.

I apreciate your patience and understanding, I will be posting more of my findings and rants soon.

Many Blessings,

Owen Greaves

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Long & McQuade does Customer Service Right!

Every once and awhile I write about my experiences with customer service, I tend to share more bad stories than good, but today I have good story.

This past week has been a blur for me but thats a good thing I think. July 1st was Canada’s 143rd Birthday and every year there is a huge parade in my community, and every year I do all can to avoid that parade. I don’t like crowds much, especially ones that create traffic problems, it just gets me wound up for some reason. Ya I get it, large crowds always equals traffic problems. OK, let’s get on with why I’m writing about Long & McQuade.

I belong to church here in Abbotsford, Cedar Brook Church, we decided this year that we would put a float in the Parade, we hired a new Pastor and he is working to build a higher profile for the church. A team was assembled, before we knew it, there were over 40 people helping decorate, organize and join us on the long walk down main street on July 1st, 2010.

Before all the hoopla, a few weeks earlier I went to Long & McQuade to see how much it would cost to rent speakers and a small mixer board for our float, so we could run canned music. I got a quote of $28, I said what? I can remember when I was in that business back in the day it would cost over $200! I said book it.l would say

Jump ahead to the parade, we were decorating the float at 7AM, setting up sound equipment and so on. I hooked up the speakers and CD player and was having some volume issues, I discovered there was an input / output problem and SHAZAM! as @prosperitygal would say, we had sound. But there was a problem with one of the speakers, a Tweeter was blown and it rattled like a rock in a can, it was very sad. I was able to turn off the Tweeter for the most part and run Bass only. It was too late to get the speaker replaced because Long & McQuade were closed, so we made due with one side very much lower in volume than the other.

Now under normal circumstances most people would lose a gasket and just run with speaker and then cry about it all day to anyone who would listen. We did not do that, we just ran it a low volume but ran the other side HOT, it worked out well in the end because the Judges for the parade were on the side the good speaker was on. The parade was great fun, all went well, but we haven’t heard back if we won 1st, 2nd or 3rd for the float judging : )

Today, July 2nd, I returned the gear and then shared the problem of the speaker. The clerk helping me was awesome, we hooked the speaker in question up and was able to reproduce the problem. He then looked at me and said, what do you want to do? I said what? (in shock of course) He said, what do you want to do? I threw the ball back at him and said, what are my options? They were, get my money back or he would give me a gift certificate. I said, just give me the certificate, it’s easier and faster too. The clerk went to the back room and handed my a $50 certificate, I said, this too much, I only spent $28 in the first place. He said, we’re sorry you had any kind of problems period, and we want to see you come back.

I’m still a little stunned, it’s not significant amount of money, but the thought and act was huge in my books, credibility is everything folks, remember that when dealing with people around you. Long & McQuade, you did customer service right today, we’ll be back, and we will tell many what you did today. Many Blessings on you.

Customer Service That – FAILED!

MM850My Lawn Mower stopped working a few weeks ago, I was kind of happy because that meant I didn’t have to cut grass 🙂 The down side to not cutting the grass is that it got to a point where the yard looked like Hillbillies lived there! Weeds took over and gave the place a look I’ve not experienced before, so I had to solve the broken switch in my Lawn Mower STAT! Well, the switch was the most likely thing to be broken so I’m starting there.

Before I share with you my Customer Service That – FAILED story, let me share with you an experience I was impressed with when I broke my shoulder in the 1st week of July. As some of you know I was doing warp speed on the soccer field, a guy got a breakaway and my 20 year old brain (I’m 51) said,” you can catch him”, so off I went! Oh ya, I caught him, kicked the ball away and then clipped his back foot and down I went, what should have been a tuck & roll became a SPLAT! So there ya have it, I knew it was broken by the sting, I’ve had broken bones before so I knew how it felt. I took a slap shot between the eyes as a young hockey player once too, the guy shooting the puck was Gord Cochrane. Yep, the NHL goon back when he was just playing Junior in the 70’s but that’s another story for another time.

SAVE-ON FOODS STORY – Customer Service That PASSED!

After a couple weeks of cabin fever I took the risk of driving, had to wear a sling so it was interesting. This particular day I went to the grocery store, SAVE-ON FOODS just down the hill from me, about 6  kilometers. I went in early thinking I wouldn’t have to deal with a busy store, I forgot a quarter to get a cart so I went to the Customer Service desk and asked for one. Lorna at the desk asked me what happened to my arm, nothing I said, I broke my shoulder. She then asked me if I needed someone to help me get the cart, being a man I said NO! So I wondered outside to get the cart, low & behold there was Lorna coming out the door asking if I was OK. Yep, thanks for coming to check I said. Once I got in the store I started down a couple isle’s and at the end of one isle was Lorna, can I push the cart and help you shop? Now I’m not used to this kind of treatment from a local grocery store so I’m taken back a bit. I said no thanks and continued on with my shopping.

I got home and went on with my self-pity because I couldn’t lift things and do what I wanted so I called my wife to chat with her a bit. My lovely wife happens to work for a company where SAVE-ON FOODS is a customer, I shared my story of Lorna, my wife then told one of the big Kahuna’s at SAVE-ON about Lorna. I merely said that this is the way customer support should be and I would speak highly of Lorna always because she went the extra mile when most wouldn’t. Lorna works at store #904 in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada at the Sumas Exit, if you ever have to get groceries that’s the store that gets customer service right. I hope that the BIG Kahuna rewards Lorna far beyond what they normally do for their staff because Lorna deserves it in my humble opinion. I Thank You Lorna for blessing me with your kindness and willingness to serve.

BLACK & DECKER STORY – Customer Service That – FAILED!

Now, let me share my Black & Decker experience with you. I told you about the switch I needed for my Lawn Mower earlier, I went to Black & Decker’s website thinking I could order the part from them in ten minutes and I would be back cutting grass in a few days. WRONG! I was able to search and find the model of my Lawn Mower and was even able to add the part (switch) to the shopping cart so it wasn’t all bad until I tried to checkout. I clicked on the Checkout Button and I was sent right back to the beginning to search for the part again. I admit I did that three or four times thinking I missed something. Then I thought oh crap I must have really screwed up now and have to wait 24 hours before I can try again. Some carts in the past would force you to do that so I waited till the next day. Short story is it failed once again and did the same thing. As you can probably tell I was getting frustrated, I went to the FAQ’s and help part of the site which solved absolutely nothing, in fact it sends you to another company’s site for support. I also tried to use the Service Center Locator search tool on the site, it asks for the country and ZIP code, I click on the drop down list and select Canada and then put the Postal Code in. Guess what, it wouldn’t accept the Postal Code, it only accepted ZIP code’s, it did let me select the correct country though. At this point I had enough and decided to phone Black & Decker’s toll free number to try and buy this part. That did work 🙂

I got a cheerful lady on the phone with a nice southern drawl in her voice, I shared my challenge and she said I couldn’t order the part and they wouldn’t be able to ship it either. Say what? Why I asked? You are in Canada. OK, is there a place in Canada where I can get Black & Decker parts for my Lawn Mower? Where in Canada do you live was the next question, Abbotsford, B.C. about 40 miles East of Vancouver. Yes, we have a service center in Vancouver. I asked if there was one out in my area and she said no only Vancouver. I got the phone number of the location in Vancouver and proceeded to ask about the part, I got a guy named Dan on the phone, I then asked if they had a location in my community, why yes he said. I got the number for the location in my community and I was told they had the part! EUREKA!

Now the system on the Black & Decker site flips you back & forth with DeWalt’s site to actually get support and parts here in Canada. It may even do the same thing in the USD but I wasn’t able to test that today. I would suggest to Black & Decker that their website is a prime example of a site that fails in customer service. There should have been an error, a pop-up or a message that said something about what was happening. I should have been able to find a location using the Service Center Locator by letting me use a Postal Code and then a message telling me to contact Yadda Yadda in Canada instead of NOTHING!

I can’t imagine customers putting up with that kind of support and continue doing business with them, Black & Decker, you better pay attention and fix your failing system and failing grade because you won’t like what may happen to your business. I’m just one person who tried to buy a part for a Lawn Mower, I spent far too much time on the company website trying figure out how and why it wasn’t working and then 3 phone calls later to actually find a location that had the part. You are making your customers Work Far To Hard Black & Decker! STOP IT!!!!!