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Many businesses tout quality service as being the hallmark of their entire mission.  And as we have highlighted before, there are some business doing some incredibly outstanding things when it comes to service.

Though all it takes is one or two bad apples to remind us that there are some companies out there that are missing the mark when it comes to quality service. Following are a couple of glaring real-life examples of poor customer service.  If you will, we have been kind enough to change the names to protect the guilty.

First my neighbor had a daunting experience with a major provider of home furnishings and accessories.  She called the local store and could never get anybody to return her calls regarding the new kitchen counters she was having installed.  As such, my neighbor had to make several 40-mile trips to the actual store to get somebody to respond to her issue.  All of this could have been handled easily over the phone – if only someone had called her back.

The second example is regarding my son and a major insurance provider.  My son’s truck was hit by a person driving without a license and who did not have permission to drive the car – resulting in several thousands of dollars of damage to my son’s truck.  Since it was hit from behind, the repair shop felt that the truck should have been totaled because of damages that impacted the transmission.  The insurance company opted to have it repaired – as opposed to deeming it “totaled.” Now the transmission is fully shot and it will cost my son $5,000 to install a new one.   And by the way, the insurance company never sent anyone out to look at the vehicle again, return phone calls or re-open the claim.  Once this issue is resolved…if it ever is, my son is switching to a competitive insurance provider, which means the insurance carrier is losing a customer of more than 15 years.

In today’s hyper-connected world, all it takes is for a few bad customer service stories to make their way through the world of social media and then a company has a real public relations nightmare on their hands.

My advice to these companies is to take a page from Nordstrom, Trader Joes’s, Marriott and others by simply making quality service their top priority.

Posted by: Diann Turner, Director, Business Development, NetLink Resource Group