Money talks, bullshit walks, right? Wrong!
Sometimes a value cannot be put on a situation. This morning I put my little Green Mountain Wild Blueberry K-cup pod in the Keurig, like I do every morning, and waited for my perfect cup of coffee to start my day. The coffee grounds spit all over the outside of my cup and inside was a glob of brown, watery coffee grounds. I cursed at it, took it out, cleaned it up and put another K-cup into the cup holder. I pushed the start button assuming the previous was just a defective pod. The same thing happened. I don’t know about you, but I need that morning java kick to start my day. This was frustrating.
I pulled out the Keurig manual with full intention of finding that 1-800 phone number to call those idiots and give them a piece of my mind. What the heck is wrong with my machine? Don’t they know I need my coffee to get my day started? Stupid people! Then I wondered what I would say if I was on the other end of the call being referred to as an idiot and a stupid person. After scanning the manual I came to the “Caring for your Keurig” section and realized I never did take time to give it an occasional cleaning. Hmph! Who’s the idiot now?
I settled in with my perfect cup of coffee 45 minutes later than I planned. This sets me back 45 minutes in my schedule for the day. (I’ll just have to skip lunch). My stupidity is no one’s fault but my own. In customer service we get a lot of stupidity. How do we deal with that? It’s easier for someone to place blame on the company rather than take responsibility for their own ignorance. I thought about that and wondered how the 800 line would have helped. I would like to think they would walk me through cleaning my machine, but too many times I think customer service departments throw money at the problem instead of resolving the issue, just to make the customer go away.
In some cases it is easy to replace like for like. I’m not sure an avid Mustang lover would think a 2017 Ford Mustang is in line with replacing a 1965 Ford Mustang but that would be up to the consumer. It would be an offer I suppose, probably a stupid one. I’m not in that business so that is simply my opinion. LL Bean will replace anything, anytime if you are not 100% completely satisfied. Keep in mind materials used to make an item 20 years ago are much better quality than the material used to make an item now.
That brings me to the monetary question. How do you put a value on time lost? Is there a value for pain and suffering? In my opinion, I don’t think it’s possible. Those 45 minutes I lost this morning are gone. No amount of money can buy them back for me. Money can’t fix the pain and suffering I felt having to wait 45 minutes for my cup of coffee. I know, sounds silly doesn’t it?
Monetary versus material is one aspect of customer service I’ve not quite got my head wrapped around. Customers want compensation when things go wrong. There are some customers who can’t be compensated. How does one fix something that can’t be replaced or apologized for? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Footnote: This year I decided to go with the A-Z of Customer Service. I’ve complained too long that customer service isn’t what it should be. Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. He put me in a position make a difference in what I think customer service is and should be. This month I will share with you what I’ve learned about successful customer service. Hope you enjoy the ride.