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A Great Customer Service Encounter

Written By: Angela Aspito

Blog 4 in series: Our Customer Service Stories and the Lessons that they Teach

I have no less than 10,000 terrible customer service experiences to share. And only a few really, really, great ones to tell you about. Why? Simply because exceptional customer service experiences are rare, like a perfectly baked croissant, while poor ones are as normal as salt and pepper on the table.

Disclaimer: After 15 years in hospitality and customer service I have high expectations. This makes it challenging for anyone to wow me with great service, particularly in restaurants.  In fact, most of my friends refuse to eat out with me and now exclusively call me for drinks after work.

One of these over-the-top customer service experiences happened recently when I called Orkin pest control.  A few months back I moved and I called to setup new service with Orkin pest control.  The woman who answered the phone did exactly what I expect a customer service agent to do:  listen to me, quickly address my needs, and explain what to expect with next steps.  And if she did only those three things on that call, her service would have been orthodox.  There is nothing worth writing about on an ordinary call to the pest control company. But she did far more than provide a “business as usual” experience.

When I explained I was calling to setup new service in my new home, she asked me if I was new to the area.  When I replied yes, she said, “Welcome to Maine!  You are going to love it here!”  Then she asked me if I like to eat out, and proceeded to give me a handful of restaurant recommendations.  I was so surprised by her kindness that I actually smiled on the phone.  And not just a little smirk, either. I was grinning ear-to-ear and already daydreaming about a meal at the restaurant she described on the phone.

Then she put the cherry on top of the proverbial “customer service sundae” and offered to email me the names of the restaurants so that I wouldn’t forget her recommendations.  It was the best customer service encounter I have ever had on the phone. Ever.