Customer Service

Let’s face it. Holiday stress can bring out the worst in people. Here’s how to soften the blow, then turn things around when someone decides to “go south” on your FB page or other social media site:


Infographic source:


An interesting infographic, to be sure—just wish it began with the positive rather than lead with (a lot of) negatives. Pay particular attention to the “Nice Companies Finish First” section, near the bottom.

(Click on the graphic to enlarge.)





“It’s our policy.”

Those three words can send a person’s blood pressure through the ceiling faster watching a shopping cart crash into their new car.

The person delivering the line intends it to be a conversation stopper. End of discussion, I’m right, you’re wrong, I win, go away.

The recipient, however, is more likely to see it as a conversation starter (more accurately, a launching pad for an angry debate, or worse, a reason to extend the conversation into blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube…helloooo, United Airlines?).

They’ve had a door slammed in their face, and they know it.

Recently, it was my face in the doorway.  [click here to continue…]


Spotted just inside the entrance of Borders Books in Mansfield, MA:

As a nearby retailer elloquently put it, “Do you think they are a little bitter? No wonder they are closing….”

Thanks to Ann Foley-Collins (Glee Gifts) for sharing this. Wow.


Typos. Oversights. Misinterpretations. Flat out mistakes. They happen.

When the line blurs between simple oversight and intentional judgement call, however, we’re talking about something entirely different: integrity, the foundation of successful business.

This past couple of weeks, I’ve witnessed not one, but two examples of how risky a judgement call can be—in one case, forever marring a reputation I’d previously thought bulletproof. [click here to continue…]


I seem to be a magnet for “teaching moments” when it comes to customer service lately. This time, a terrific server at a tiny little wine bar trumped a multi-million dollar airline when it came to doing things right.

As someone who practically lives on airplanes, I spend an inordinate amount of time in Delta Skyclubs—they’ve become my regional offices, once the laptop and cell phone are fired up. One of the perks to being a member is that you can “guest” someone in with you, which until now, I hadn’t had the opportunity to do.

And still haven’t, thanks to the staff at the Skyclub in Terminal E, Atlanta Hartsfield (the one nearest the central concourse area, not the second one further back).

The scenario: [click here to continue…]


Warning: Rant ahead.

The grocery manager at my locally owned, independent market will attest to the fact I’m a soldier when it comes to brand loyalty. Not only have I stuck with them for twenty-four years, but numerous brands found on their shelves have retained Must Have Status in my every day life.

This spring, the laundry detergent I’ve used for delicate loads for 15 years suddenly disappeared from the shelves. He searched high and low—including at competing stores—but couldn’t locate it anywhere.

Two months ago, my favorite oatmeal vaporized. He got on the horn with the distributor, learned the manufacturer had discontinued the item…then inquired about possible substitutes.

When things go south, he finds solutions. When an item’s forever gone, he suggests alternatives. When he sees me sauntering up the aisle, he greets me with a smile, aware there’s a 50/50 chance we’re about to embark on another exploration.

Solutions and smiles solidify long term loyalty. He gets it. [click here to continue…]


Okay, this one’s a personal rant, so please take it as such. [click here to continue…]

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