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28 Mar 2008 / Julie

The Best Customer Service Experience, Ever.

I thought I had been sitting on this story for a while, but apparently I had blogged about it back when it happened. Granted, I don’t think i did it justice the first time I wrote about it so lets give it another try…

Last August the bf and I went to Boston for a long weekend to visit my long-time pen pal from England and his now-finance who were in the states for his professional conference. We stayed the Candlewood Suites in Braintree, MA. We had never stayed in a hotel from that chain before and upon looking at reviews online, we nicknamed it “Funkywood Suites” because multiple people complained about a random, unidentifiable smell.

Well, don’t believe what you read. I don’t remember if we noticed a smell, but it was clean, safe, a short drive away from the T so we could get into Boston quickly, and (most importantly), CHEAP. And REALLY CHEAP when you factored in the fact that we had a full kitchen in the room complete with full size fridge, dish washer, microwave, oven, and stove.

When we arrived we went to put the items in our cooler into the fridge but it wasn’t cold. It was plugged in and turned on, but clearly dead. Too tired from the 270 mile, 5+ hour drive, we didn’t worry about calling down to the desk until the next morning.

When we do finally call, they say they’ll send someone up. Figuring they meant “eventually” we get ready for our day in Boston. Not 5 minutes later, there’s a guy at the door. Maintieance. He comes in, checks the fridge is plugged in, on, and determines the same thing we did- it be dead. He says, “I’ll get you a new one.” What, like a new fridge? Sure, okay.

But sure enough, 10 minutes later, as we’re walking out the door for the day, there he is, fridge and dolly in tow. Stunned, we left him to do his thing and went off to gallivant with our friends in Boston. When we returned at the end of the day, our new fridge was there, all cold and ready to take care of our food.

I have to say, without doubt, this is- hands down- the BEST service I’ve ever gotten. It hits upon an excellent point of customer service that we often lose sight of. When something breaks or goes wrong, the customer doesn’t care what caused it, or how it’s going to get fixed- they just want to be able to do what they need to do.

In the case of the fridge, we needed some place to put our cold items. They could have offered to store our items somewhere else, or sent a guy up to fix the fridge but no- they understood that all we needed was a quick solution to our problem. And replacing the fridge, no questions asked, was the only way to do that. They could then, on their own time, out of view of the customer, who honestly doesn’t care, fix the fridge that we originally had, if it’s fixable, and keep it in queue for when someone else needs a fixed fridge.

If a customer comes in to our VR service saying, “i couldn’t do x because of y” i expect our librarians to figure out what the customer’s desired end result is and get them there. Then, if something needs fixing, to report it or fix it later, but only AFTER the customer has what they need.

There may be cases where the thing that needs fixing is the only way to do something- but i’d like to think if we plan ahead and use a little creativity, we’d be able to get around whatever walls we come up to in order to get what the customer needs- just about every time.

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