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Bad Service is Bad for Business

Written by: Lisa Piane

Blog 2 in series: Our Customer Service Stories and the Lessons that they Teach

It’s almost 2017. I can’t believe it, can you? Every passing year, our world seems to become more automated and impersonal. Customers are becoming numb to bad service.

One of my worst experiences was with a local eye care center.

Having no eye insurance for the first time, I decided to think outside of the box. I searched online for deals for an eye exam. Why pay premium dollar when all eye exams are the same, right? Wrong.

I found an eye care center that was offering a great deal through Groupon and decided that I would try it out. Unfortunately, this “great deal” should have had a caution sign attached to it.

First, I needed to schedule an appointment. This center has several locations and only one number to call. I was transferred from their automated system 8 times and left on hold twice. I was flustered when a human voice came through. She had a dry, monotone voice, and seemed to have no clue about their center offering a Groupon deal. After a quick, impersonal, unsatisfactory conversation, I had an appointment. Of course, the location was 30 minutes away, but I wasn’t going to be transferred again.

Upon arrival, I was met with a dry personality at the front desk. She was aware of the Groupon “deal” but had bad news. The Groupon included an eye exam with $150.00 towards glasses. Yet, I was sent to a location where I could not buy glasses. It was only an eye exam center. Great! I would need to go to a separate location to do so, and she wrote down the address. Their closest location with glasses was 40 minutes away from where I stood and 35 minutes from where I live.

No apology, just an eye exam from hell.

A few weeks later, I decided I would make the inconvenient drive to buy the glasses. I did have $150.00 that would go to waste on the line! After making the long haul, I stepped inside and was greeted with a smirk and no, “hello or how can I help you.” I told the lady with the smirk my situation and she pointed to where I could try on some frames.

After going through great trial and error, I found a pair that I thought suited me well. They were under my $150.00 price point, to boot! Maybe there was a silver lining after all?

I brought the frames I had selected to the lady with a permanent mean mug.  She told me where I could sit until it was my turn. Finally, she signaled, without many words, for me to come back to a desk for my lens estimate.

To my dismay, the cheapest option for lenses was way over the price point I had expected. The lenses were more than double the price of the frames. The woman was rude and didn’t offer any suggestions.

Because of the poor service that I received at every contact point, from start to finish. I left empty handed. I did not want to give them a dime of my money. I was not treated with respect, shipped all around town, and met with zero kindness. The eye center had poor communication, terrible customer service skills, and no set procedure for booking appointments. At my wits end, I left.

Bill Gates offers us a great tip, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.

With that being said, I’m still on the search for new glasses if anyone has any suggestions!