WOW Word-Of-the-Week #331: Outstanding

December 6, 2010 by  

Outstanding – distinguished from others by superior performance.

When was the last time you experienced anything outstanding? Did it happen in the last week? Did it happen in the last month? Did it happen in the last year?

I’ve been a Cox customer for the past 20 years because that is the only option I had for high-speed internet and cable TV.  Since 2006, every DVR we had has never recorded an entire season without breaking and needing to be replaced. This means that all recordings are gone and unable to be viewed, which pretty much makes it a waste of money if we can’t watch the programs when we want to.

I have spent more frustrating time with Cox on the phone and on hold than anyone would believe.  I did everything I could to stop using Cox. I tried to get an AT&T bundled package but it is not available in my area. I called Dish Network. If I could have switched to anybody, I would have in a heartbeat!

Cox scheduled a technician to replace our DV for the 4th time. When I opened the door the first words out of my mouth were, “My husband said he pitied the poor person who was going to have to deal with me today.” To which the technician replied, “I am Paul and my job is to fix the problem and make you happy.” Yeah, right! Well he was so intent to show me that he really meant it, after he installed another new DVR he gave me his cell phone number and said, “If you have a problem, you call me directly, ANYTIME.”

Then the following week my HD froze and it couldn’t be rebooted by the office. (The week before it could be.) I called Paul. He came within two hours and told me, “These DVR’s are computers and they need to be rebooted just like your computer in your office. You have to unplug them every so often.”  Now how come customer service didn’t tell me that over the phone?

To make a very long story short, the cause of the problem was in how and where all the TV cables were plugged in. Paul had figured it out, showed up with his supervisor on his lunch hour and spent two hours going over all the connections with my wiring guys to fix the problem. An hour later I received a call from Paul asking, “Is everything OK? Is everything working?” To which I replied, “So far, so good.”

I have to tell you, I never had a cable guy, let alone anyone else, care so much about making me happy. You would think his name was Paul Cox, not Paul Villarreal, and it was his company.  Now if that is not a perfect example of an outstanding employee and outstanding service, I don’t what is.

This week focus on being outstanding. What could you do to distinguish yourself from others? What could your staff do to provide superior service? What systems do you have in place to reward outstanding behavior at home and at work?

Reader Responses

“Love your story on outstanding service!” – Em

“Outstanding. Above and beyond the call of duty. This is what we should expect whenever we pay good money for a product or service. Unfortunately, that outstanding service or workmanship have been lost today due to the fact that so much of our manufacturing has been shipped overseas to markets in India, China and other far east locations. The reason: the companies are responding to shareholders who expect higher stock prices and dividends every quarter. If they don’t get it, they complain. So, companies begin cutting costs, especially with employees. They do not want to pay a good wage for a good day’s work, and the companies do not want to pay health and 401k benefits. So, when we have a problem, we end up speaking to someone in Indonesia who has a clipped English accent that is hard to understand. So we end up spending at least 15 minutes on the phone trying to figure out what they are telling us. When we can’t understand what they are saying, we usually end up hanging up the phone in frustration because our problem was not solved. I may have told you in an earlier post that I met a Citibank employee recently who asked me what it was the company could do for me. I told her, “Hire someone to answer the phones so that I don’t have to wade through five minutes of prompts telling me where I need to go to fix my problem. Our time is as valuable as yours.” In a Citibank branch on one end of town, the operator is never available. At another branch in town, there is an operator. Go figure. Having at least one person answer the phone locally would save a lot of time for the customer and the company. After all, companies want happy customers. That is the bottom line. And if you can’t keep the customer satisfied with outstanding service, why are you in business? It is that simple. We will pay for outstanding service, no questions asked. Just provide it. Thanks, Susan. Have a great week.” –  “Warrior” Joe