Here’s a short tale of good service. This morning I’ve been busy making travel arrangements. I hate doing this stuff and I get distracted easily…where was I…oh yeah. So among other things I booked a return flight to Dublin in December.
I chose the flight from an aggregator website which allowed me to choose the exact date and times before connected me to the airline, Aer Lingus. I booked the ticket, a cheap, no frills, no refund ticket because I like to keep client expenses low. Once I’d booked it I spotted that between the aggregator and the airline, the timings had been reset. I’d booked the wrong ticket, d’oh!
I didn’t want the airline system getting confused with two of me trying to fly on the same day and I booked a new one at the right time then called Aer Lingus to cancel my incorrect ticket. The person I spoke to refunded my mistake without hesitation, despite me having a ‘no refund’ ticket. She didn’t have to check with a supervisor, the offer was made and gratefully accepted. Smart, empowered customer service, that is how you exceed customer expectations people. Nice one Aer Lingus. Can you imagine certain other airlines even thinking about refunding me?
While the sun shines I’m doing some house maintenance, namely fixing some guttering (note to my builder, water prefers to flow with gravity – not against it). In the course of my work I need to replace some parts. Some are made by Osma, some by Polypipe. Osma are by far the more expensive option (example – a gutter jointing bracket from Osma is almost £5, a similar Polypipe piece costs less than £2). There seems to be no discernible difference in the quality but I reckoned it was easier to replace like with like.
Osma – sold by Travis Perkins
I arrive at the shop and after a brief friendly chat with someone behind the desk another guy takes me into the yard. He points at where the Osma stuff is and then stands there while I fiddle about with stuff. The guy offers no advice, replies reluctantly to questions and is about as uninterested as he could possibly be. I pay for my (expensive) stuff and leave. To be fair, not a bad experience, but definitely underwhelming and not what I expect when I’m paying top dollar. Although as you’re about to read – the price ain’t what it’s all about.
Polypipe – sold by Plumbase
I arrive at the shop needing a replacement bracket. I have one with me as an example. A friendly guy asks to take the bracket from me and he takes a look. “yeah – we stock these, but this little fixer here” he points to a part of the bracket “it looks wrong.” “How long has it been installed?” the guy asks me. “Around 18 months” I reply. “Well I reckon that’s faulty then” says the helpful chap and quick as a flash he replaces the little piece at no charge and sends me on my way. What a difference. Hands on, interested, and positive. Friendly and fantastic!
I appreciate it can be more tricky when you distribute your brand through others, but in a couple of day’s time I’m going to need a whole load more bits and pieces to complete this project. I wonder where I’ll be returning to buy them?