My Convertible Life

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday's Five: Customer Service

I'm a firm believer in the power of good customer service. Whether it's going the extra mile to make customers feel special or taking customer complaints seriously, the companies that pay attention are the ones that get -- and keep -- my business. It's why I love PSNC Energy, but hate dealing with Time Warner Cable.

During this crazy shopping season, here are five happy customer service experiences I've experienced recently. And as someone who worked retail (anyone shop at Limited Express in the late 80s?), I ask you to please be kind and patient to the store clerks you see during the coming days.
  1. Great Goods: I found Doris' Etsy site through a Google search for aprons a year ago, but finally ordered one for my birthday this year (thanks, Mom and Dad!). Not only is the apron beautiful, but it arrived quickly and was packaged beautifully with a handwritten note and a family recipe tucked inside. There's not much left on her site now (clearly I'm not the only one who likes her aprons), but she has some really great fabrics.
  2. H*Lea*Designs: Okay, so Heather is a friend of mine. But still, I trust she gives this kind of service to all her customers. The adorable hand-knit hat I ordered for Pippi arrived on time and was custom-fit to her head. She has styles for boys, too, and will customize colors on request.
  3. Mabel's Labels: Not only did I get a conference coupon for free labels (which are fantastic, by the way), but I also got picked as the "Customer of the Day." Even before my labels arrived, I received a package with a great double-end pen, a reusable shopping bag and other treats from Mabel's -- I felt so important.
  4. Marriott: This story didn't actually start out so happy, as you may remember from our ill-fated pack-n-play incident over Thanksgiving. But I give Marriott full credit for responding quickly, listening to my concerns, tracking down a solution to the problem and giving us some bonus rewards points as a make-up gift. Companies make mistakes sometimes -- great customer service is what makes us forgive them.
  5. Quail Ridge Books and Music: I realize that not all of my readers live close enough to Raleigh to be able to enjoy our local book store. But I hope that you'll support your independent bookseller wherever you are -- or just order online from Quail Ridge. Their staff is knowledgeable and helpful, the store is lovely, the gift wrap is free (year-round) and the children's section is top-rate. Check here for some of my suggestions of what to buy.
So, what's your best customer service experience lately?


  1. Mobley's Shoes will keep getting my business after today. I bought a pair of boots (pricey) for my son there at the end of last season. When I pulled them out the other day for the snow, the boots had cracked and were no longer wearable. I brought them into the store today and, voila, a brand new pair of this season's boots, free of charge.

  2. I did retail work (also for The Limited Corp!), waitressing and worked in a Human Rources Customer Service dept for a large company: I know what customers and companies are capable of. So I think I have reasonable expectations regarding service, yet have been let down by more companies with more frequency over the past few years.

    When I am very impressed I tell ALL my friends. Like this recent story:
    I wanted custom stationary for my sister for Xmas. I found an Etsy shop who was very responsive, helpful, and absolutely exceeded my expectations...especially considering it was a week before Xmas for a small business run by a new mom. Check them out for great-priced lovely custom stationary.

  3. You are SO sweet! we are delighted to be included in this post! Thank you. Have a great holiday!

    Tricia Mumby
    Mabel's Labels

  4. I love Mobley's too. Also Mabel's Labels.

    A word about Quail Ridge Books. Even if you don't live in or near Raleigh, you can shop online with them. And after you place your order? A REAL LIVE PERSON emails you to confirm and thank you for your order. It is AMAZING. :) They are awesome.

    The Harris Teeter at North Hills isn't too shabby on service either.

  5. I always love Zappos, but just when you wrote this I had one. After letting my package from the Discovery Channel Store sit unopened for a week, I finally opened it in order to send my husband to NY with our nephew's gift, only to find I'd been sent the wrong item. Discovery Channel Store not only express shipped me the right item, but let me keep the one I got by mistake!

  6. I frequent the Quail Ridge Books at Ridgewood and they are fantastic! Another favorite of mine is Fleet Feet Sports in the same shopping center. Custom shoe fittings for anyone who wears an athletic shoe, they also fit sports bras, and the return policy cannot be beat!

  7. @letmestartbysaying, thank you so much for this mention! I'm so happy you were so happy! :) It's always great to please a customer and even more lovely for them to spread the word. Thanks so much! :)


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