We have all been there, we have a problem with something we ordered, bought, or paid for and when we go to straighten it out we get the crankiest, wisecracking, job hating individual ever put on this earth. Either that or we get a very nice person who might want to help but has no idea how too.
These can be extremely frustrating situations for the consumer. If you own any kind of business that deals with the public in any capacity, customer service should be at the top of your list. People tend to make decisions on things based purely on customer service. Sometimes these are rash decisions. I know. I just made one like that. I’ll explain in a minute.
Can I Check Your Oil Sir/Ma’am?
Many years ago good customer service was practiced by almost all companies. Then patterns started to shift and companies starting taking customers for granted and customer service went out the window. For example, years ago when you pulled into a gas station they not only pumped your gas but they checked your oil and washed your windows. Today, you pump your own gas, good luck finding a squeegee, and you can check your own oil.
This time period became a “take it or leave it” period where businesses had the attitude of “this is just the way it is, like it or leave it” Many were the only game in town and knew there was nowhere else for you to go. They just didn’t care.
So Many To Choose From
Over time that strategy started to backfire. In today’s society, there are many companies who offer the same products and services. You can find the same item or service from about a dozen or more companies at any given time. So, what makes one company stand out over the next? While price and quality have something to do with it, customer service is what stands out.
No one person or company is perfect and people get that. The difference between success or failure is how you handle problems when they come up. Whether your company thrives or dies will depend on what type of customer service you offer. With the popularity of the internet, putting a review online (good or bad) is easier than ever. The consumer has all the information necessary right at their fingertips. Trust me, bad reviews have a way of implanting themselves into someone’s head much deeper than good ones. There are also numerous social media groups now where people can recommend or warn people about your business.
How Do Campgrounds Fit In?
Campgrounds are no different than any other business. People who travel love convenience. When people are on vacation or just traveling in general, they love convenience. We have been to a lot of campgrounds and found a wide variety of customer service at different parks.
Some campgrounds are cheap and offer no real customer service per se. A friendly face at check-in and a safe place to park and get a good night’s rest before hitting the road in the morning is sometimes all you are looking for and it fits the bill perfectly. That’s someplace you will remember and come back to if you are ever in the area again and need the same criteria. We have been to many of those.
Water Is $5 Extra And Your Site Backs Up To A 24Hour Loading Dock
What if you’re tired, have had a few mechanical issues or hit a ton of traffic, and have an early start the next day with many miles to travel. You pull into a campground for a safe and good night’s rest and the person behind the desk is snapping her gum, giving you a hard time with your check-in, and trying to sell you everything extra he/she can. That is only going to make you angry. The chances of you ever coming back or recommending this place to someone else are low.
On the flip side, what if you are taking your family on a nice camping trip for vacation. You arrive at the campground and are greeted with a big smile from the clerk. He/she checks you in, gives you a site map of the campground and explains all the amenities, and even gets you an escort to your site.
No Problem, Your Delivery Is On The Way
You arrive at your site and your escort helps you back in, explains where all the hookups are, and asks you if you need any other help. He leaves, you set yourself up and you remember you forgot to pick up firewood when you checked in. Oh no!!! How are you going to make smores with no fire? You are tired from the road and the office is not close to your site. Then you remember what the check-in clerk told you. If you need anything just call. So you call and a few minutes later your firewood is delivered and you never left your site. See the difference? A smile and some good customer service and that person/family will most likely return to your campground and more importantly, recommend you to friends and family. More than likely they will even post good things about your campground on all the social media groups.
Amazon Thrives On Good Customer Service
One good example of how good customer service has launched a company into greatness is Amazon. Their whole business focus is on customer service. I don’t know anyone that has ever complained about Amazon customer service reps being insensitive or rude. I have been an Amazon customer for a long time and order quite a bit through them. While not every order has gone super smooth ( most have) they have always bent over backward to make things right.
This is also one of the reasons that I have become an affiliate of theirs. I have total confidence that anyone that has clicked on one of my links and purchased anything from them (thank you very much if you have) will have a positive experience also. That is just the way they do business. Customers first.
Here’s My Story
Let me finish up on this note. Bad customer service can cause long time customers to make knee-jerk decisions that could negatively impact your company. Remember all those social media groups and review sites I talked about earlier? I will give you my recent experience as an example.
I have been with Verizon wireless for over 20 years. For the most part, my cell service has been satisfactory and the signal has been good. I have always paid my bill on time ( or early) and have had few issues. I guess I have always just taken my service for granted and never thought about it not working.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Surprise surprise. Here I am in the KOA in Mystic, CT ( it’s actually in North Stonington) and I am having signal problems. My wife’s phone ( an Android) is horrible and my phone ( an iPhone) is just plain slow. Good for emails and terrible for everything else. This is seriously affecting my work on the website (hotspot) and we all know campground WiFi is almost non-existent. Forget about trying to call anyone as the cell signal is worse than the data signal.
So off we went to the Verizon store. We went to the closest corporate store to our location. We only waited a few minutes when one of the reps asked us if we needed help. We explained our situation and asked if she had any suggestions. She had none so she called over another rep and explained to him what was going on.
You’re In A Dead Zone
So without even asking to see our phones, he proceeded to tell us that there were some dead zones in our area and we were probably in one. When I asked if he had any suggestions, he proceeded to say “ What do you want me to do, put a cell tower in the campground just for you?” We were floored.
We had thought they would at least take a look at the phone and check settings or something. If that turned out ok maybe they could suggest some kind of booster that might work for us. He did none of those.
Did That Just Happen?
At this point, we just walked out, a little in shock, and just sat in the truck a minute looking at each other saying, “did that just happen?” After a few minutes, pure anger set in. It was at this point we decided to make it a point to take the rest of the day to find a new carrier.
So you see, that type of customer service just steered 2 long time Verizon customers to make a switch from a company that up to that point we were satisfied with. Knee-jerk, yes. But that’s how mad that rep made us.
Will Verizon feel the loss of 2 customers? Probably not. The point is most companies are not as large as Verizon. Most can’t afford to lose customers due to lousy customer service.
Have you experienced any over the top good/bad customer service recently? Let me know by leaving a comment below.