What Service Isn't - Part II

A week or two ago I slammed Air Canada for their absolute no handling of a flight they canceled on me, and for the record have still not contacted me regarding reimbursement for hotel costs, etc. and then I read this "Airline promises to notify travelers via e-mail, text messaging, then provide details directly about rebooked flights" in the Globe and Mail today. Now I am even angrier and even more determined to find other means to get to where I want to go. If you can't do it, won't do it, can't afford it, don't know how to do it, or will do a really poor job of it - DON'T DO IT. Don't make promises to your customers that you can't keep.

Better example, I am in Home Depot on the weekend doing the "could you help me" dance with multiple "associates". Three of them in a row say "not my area, don't know" and stare at me blankly. Weeks before I walked by a poster in their back hall touting their "no pointing" policy and encouraging all staff to lead the customer to directly what they want. Great idea I thought at the time. Seems like somewhere along the way they failed to implement or just couldn't do it. Now to add complete insult to injury I gave up looking, took what I had and headed to the check out. Where the cashier ever so nicely asked in what seemed like a pre-recorded voice "did you find everything you need?". I said "no, I asked three people who basically refused to help me so I gave up". She stared at me blankly, then smiled awkwardly, then proceeded to ring in my items.

This doesn't win over customers. It alienates them. If you can't execute on what you are promising don't bother promising at all. Don't ask if you found everything if your not prepared to deal with the answer "no". Seems so simple but I keep running into this over and over. You don't do your customer any favors and you sure don't do your organization any either.