Tag Archives: customer service

Going on Vacation? Don’t forget to call the bank…

mickey on vacaLike many others, we planned a summer vacation. Being a list maker, I started the pre-trip to-do list based on our plans and how long we were going to be gone. The kennel was called, the days-off were requested, hotel rooms reserved, triple A was called for tour books and a budget established; all the things necessary for a fun few days away.

All of the items on the listed were checked off and in order to be fiscally responsible we decided to put our vacation cash in the checking account and use our debit card. About two days into our trip, my husband tried to use my debit card to purchase our tickets for a boat tour in Chicago. The charge was denied.  We called the bank.

We have to give kudos to our bank, Republic Bank & Trust, for putting us through to a service representative (live and English speaking) who was kind and understanding.  I went through and answered a half dozen security questions and took what felt like a quiz about my work history. After passing with flying colors, she informed me that by using our card to make out of town purchases, it raised security flags and since they didn’t know we were out of town, the charges were denied.

That’s what I forgot to put on my pre-trip list, call the bank!  The bank representative asked where I was and when I would return home. She then informed me that we have a $500 a day spending limit on our debit card. That wasn’t a big deal to us and our budget, but good to know. She then informed us that we can request the limit increase if necessary. We were fine with it. The bank lady kindly released our card so we could finish our vacation.

The whole ordeal cost a little time, but with the excellent customer service at the bank, and a lesson learned about banking security, we were back to having fun and had the funds to do it!

Next year’s vacation list will have “call the bank” as number one.

All the best,

KK

Let’s Talk Customer Service

mediocrity 2Over 85% of the jobs in the United States are service oriented.    These services may focus external of the business such as a customer service representative or any employee who interacts with customer making a purchase.  Other service position focus internally such as an administrative department or IT department of a company.

Let’s take a look at those roles in which the services provided directly impact the image of a company, the future of its employees and sales.   As consumers we carry an expectation when making a purchase.  Our expectation falls in line with the quality or expense of the item we are going to purchase.  Therefore, our expectations when at a fast food restaurant are different from that of a four-star restaurant.  Can we agree on this?

I have to give kudos to an employee at the MacDonald’s in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.  I went in to purchase a plain cheese burger for my mother-in-law.  The restaurant was fairly busy. After standing in line for a short time, I placed my order, paid, waited and when handed a bag, I walked out.  Before I stepped off the sidewalk, a female employee came after me and said, “Mam, I’m sorry, we gave you the wrong burger.  That isn’t a plain cheese burger.”  A little surprised with her effort in the midst of a lunch rush, I followed her in to trade what was in my bag, for the correct special order burger.   She handed me the new bag, smiled and apologized again.

I must admit, I walked out thinking two things:  “Way to go McDonald’s for hiring such a good employee and that girl will go places.”  She took her entry level, order-taking position at McDonald’s seriously.  With so many jobs available in service positions, to be successful for both the ework ethic 2mployer and the employee, it is the front line employees (representatives of the business) who make the difference.

On the contrary to my experience at the fast food giant McDonald’s, I was recently doing weekly shopping at the Stoneybrook Kroger.  I went in the morning in the middle of the week; not a really busy time for the grocery.  I went through the store with my list and coupons filling our family’s food needs.  With the list fulfilled I proceeded to the checkout.  After completely unloading the cart, I remembered an item I didn’t pick up.  So I asked the cashier where the humus could be found.  She looked at me blankly and said, “I have no idea.  I’m up here all day.  I don’t know where anything is in the store.” She went back to ringing up the groceries making no effort to ask someone else where the item could be found.

Holding back my laugh and lecture of this twenty-something, I shook my head, and finished my transaction.  Looking at her badge, I was hoping to find a trainee sticker or some reason she wouldn’t have a clue where to find items in the store.  There was no indication of being a recent addition to the Kroger team.  I will find humus elsewhere, but the sad thing is that the cashier will go nowhere.  She is a “front line” representative of the Kroger Company and has no idea where to find things in the store.

I will gladly extend grace to customer a representative who are obviously having a bad day but still shows up and tries.  And to those in entry-level positions who take the opportunity seriously as a proving ground for their future, “good for you”!

To those who are in a position of hiring or of mentoring the new employees or young adults in a business, PLEASE, help these young people learn early in their careers, how doing even the most entry-level position with care and excellence will make all the difference in where they find themselves down the road.

All the best,

KK