Editor’s Note—March 2015

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Customer Service Revisited

by Michael Hamline, Editor / Published March 2015

Recently, I have had two experiences that have left me pondering about providing excellent customer service. In the first case, I was reviewing utility bills when I realized my local energy company had apparently double billed me for the same period of time. The only difference was the second bill was 11 cents cheaper. However, by the time I discovered this double billing, I had already paid both bills. I called my energy company to find out how my credit would be handled—would I get a refund or would the credit be applied to the next bill—and also to ask for an explanation of why I received two bills for the same period. In regards to the credit I now had, I received the answer I expected, which was the energy company would hang on to my money and apply it to my next bill. I didn’t receive an answer about the double billing, even though I asked about it for a second time.

Upon further review of both bills, I realized there was a column for important messages and the second bill had in bold, all caps letters that this was a corrected bill. A charge for my energy use had apparently been miscalculated, and the company caught this error and corrected it. I appreciate that and it was explained on my bill, but it left me wondering why the customer service rep couldn’t have explained that to me.

In the second case, I called a handyman to come fix some lighting issues at my house. He informed me that he was going to call his electrician buddy and schedule a time for them to come out to my house, and this handyman promised he would call me back the next business day to let me know when they could come. Two days came and went, and I finally called the handyman back. He had failed to call his electrician buddy, and again I was wondering why he didn’t follow through on what he had promised.

So what’s the point? The point is simply to remind you that you do make an impression on your customer every time you interact with him or her.  So, follow through on your promises, and answer or find out the answer to your customer’s questions. Now, get out there and provide excellent customer service!

Michael Hamline
(800) 525-7038