Even when they get it wrong, generous service attitude goes so far

Once upon a time in this very blog, I had myself a little freak out session concerning customer service and I thought of that day again on Friday when not one, not two, but three times I had to have something handled for me that should have taken jsut a few minutes. This was after I'd been sick for 2 weeks, had stood in line after line, and gone through the rain to an office where I hadn't anticipated having to stand in lines, much less go to in the first place, that day. Mine was a not-really-that-satisfactory customer service transaction, but the people who helped me were all nice, see.

Thought of this again yesterday when I spoke with a WV internet service provider customer service person on the phone. I'd called to say I wouldn't be making my Tuesday appointment, as planned. What with all the snow as far as the eye could see, and all. Was wondering if I might not reschedule for late next Monday?

Jennifer, to whom I spoke, thanked me for calling, paused, then said, "It's a good thing you called. Nobody was coming out tomorrow, anyway." Beg pardon? I pointed out to her that the guy who helped me last week when I called to set up service in my grandparents' empty house had assured me that somebody would meet me there from between 11 and 2. And that they'd call before coming. And that the woman to whom he'd transferred my call for confirmation that I had, indeed, ordered said service in the first place, had confirmed everything I'd written into my notebook. "All the same," my friendly customer service friend responded, "nobody was coming. There was nobody available to meet you at that time." But we'll have someone out there on Monday of next week!

Um. Allrighty then!

So I set up the next appointment, leading me to believe that perhaps I should call ahead and confirm, when I'm en route to my destination next week.

Thing is, I wasn't upset. Not at all. I realize that sometimes it's really, really frustrating to have to work that much harder to get the service you desire. But if I have to work harder and deal with rude people? No. Not a good thing. I do believe I'd rather deal with someone friendly and helpful, though slightly incompetent, over an efficient argumentitive or condescending person, any day of the week.

Maybe it comes from having been reared in the south. Maybe it comes from being reared in a home in which The Golden Rule was known and practiced from day one. Just Be Nice. Period. It's not that hard. Speak kindly to each other, even if you don't feel like it, and help people to the best of your ability. It's not their fault if you're having a bad day. Or year. Or life.

And so the guy who let me down with the internet service call? He was one of the most efficient, helpful, genuinely friendly sounding people I've ever talked to. He set up my account, which I needed, and got all the details into the computer, too! And really nothing bad came of it, anyway. 'Cause southern people don't drive in the snow. Especially to other states!