I’m an advocate for quality customer service. Whether you work as a janitor for a fast food restaurant or as an executive with an elaborate franchise set-up, customer service should be priority. Customers are what will keep your business running. My wife was in an accident recently. A fender bender. She was rolling up to a stop sign and BOOM, the guy in a truck behind her hits her.

The whole process was smooth. ICBC was actually quick and efficient. Very strange. The ‘offender’ also phoned in the incident and reported that he was to blame. Very strange again. The auto body shop we wanted to take the car to, a shop my wife used to work at as a receptionist years ago, was on the ‘approved’ list of ICBC. Smooth as butter.

I went to work one morning and on my way to a meeting I noticed that our courtesy car had a flat tire. DANG IT! I went inside in a huff and called the auto body shop. I figured so far everything is great, it can only get better. ‘I’m sorry sir, there’s nothing we can do. It’s your problem.’ HOLD THE PHONE! What do you mean it’s my problem? It’s your car!

Your company/service/product etc. is only as strong as your frontline. That girl showed me how strong the customer service of that auto body shop is. Horrible.

In the same week, with the same courtesy car, I was at a mall parking lot and just loaded up the family into the car after one too many hours in the mall. I went to start the car and saw that I had left the lights on. (Side note: I told most people the car battery was just crap because I don’t want too many people to think I’m such a tool. Too late now I guess). I left the fam in the car as I ran towards the mall to find someone, when to my wonder I saw a man who looked like he had jumper cables. Sure enough he was walking toward a company van. I approached the man and asked for his help, without a shadow of doubt or a question beyond ‘where is your car?’, the man drove over and jump started us. I shook his hand and said thank you, he just wished us a merry Christmas and went on his way.

Customer service should be priority in your company/service/products. If you have people that you work with that are terrible service providers, train them or get rid of them. You are only as strong as your weakest link. In the mean time, I’m going to email the company where that man works and let them know they have A class employee’s, I hope he gets a bonus for Christmas.


Matthew A. Hawkins