Customer Service Fanaticism

Customer Service Fanaticism

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In 1982 I stood in front of a group of employees of the retail company I was running to tell them, “Who would have thought we’d reach a time when saying “please” and “thank you,” “sir” and “ma’am” would be a competitive edge?” That was then. This is now.

Superior customer service is rare. That means the opportunities are extraordinary! Seize the day.

Abel seized the day. Here’s his story, as posted on my Facebook profile.

Abel with Schlotzsky’s in Grapevine, Texas
Abel with Schlotzsky’s in Grapevine, Texas

Schlotzsky’s Grand Prairie, Texas Is Today’s Customer Service HORROR Story (Small Hill Drive location)
Rhonda placed an order via the app (something she’s done with great frequency). Location: Grapevine, Texas. Problem: during checkout, the app encountered a problem with her saved credit card requiring that it be re-entered. Done. Order placed.

Problem #2: during that payment problem evidently the order location changed from Grapevine to Grand Prairie. She didn’t notice that until we were in the drive-through of the Grapevine location. She explained the problem and they politely said, “No problem. Just call them to get a refund and we’ll make the sandwiches here.” So we pulled into a parking spot to call Grand Prairie.

She explained the problem and as they seemed to be helping her the connection went dead. I suspect they hung up on her (she was on the speakerphone). She dialed back. Explained it again, but this time it was a different person. “No, we’ve already made the sandwiches. No refund!” (Do this in the voice/tone of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld and you’ll be dangerously close to the sound of this man on the phone). She asked for the manager. “I am the manager.”

I took the phone to ply my powers of persuasion but without success. The Sandwich Nazi wasn’t going to bend an inch. This $22 transaction was more meaningful than a long-time customer.

I entered the Grapevine store to see what I could do. A pleasant gentleman behind the counter was taking orders. I was 3rd in line. Immediately I thought, “This store isn’t run by the same folks that operate Grand Prairie.”

Turns out, I was right.

As I explained our quandary, the gentleman said, “Oh yeah, you were just in the drive-through.” I told him Grand Prairie refused to issue a refund. He was shocked. I asked what I could do. He asked me what we ordered and I told him. He punched it into his computer and said, “I got you.” No, no, no – that wasn’t the solution I was looking for and I insisted on paying. “No,” he insisted, “I got you.”

I thanked him and told him I was going to share this story. I gave him my business card, took a quick selfie as he handed me the order, gave him a bro hug, and thanked him asking, “What’s your name?” I’m pretty sure he said, “Able.” If not, I apologize. It was busy and I didn’t want to detain him.

Schlotzsky’s in Grand Prairie – Small Hill Drive – boos and hisses to your ownership and management for pathetic customer services

Schlotzsky’s in Grapevine – kudos and salutes to your ownership and management for stepping up to do the right thing. A special shout-out to the gentleman in the picture. He understands how to be excellent!

NOTE: Abel is his name! Hours later and I’m still very impressed with this man. Visit Abel and his staff at the Schlotzsky’s in Grapevine, Texas and tell them you saw this post.

Pursue excellence. Chase consistency in that excellence.

Do it in your professional life. Do it in your personal life.

There are opportunities everywhere!

Randy Cantrell

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