Michael B. Duff

Lubbock's answer to a question no one asked

Superior customer service at the Texas Tech Bookstore

I love the coffee shop at the Texas Tech Bookstore. They have these little designer sandwiches you can grab for breakfast or throw in the breakroom fridge for lunch.

There’s something terribly civilized about it, grabbing a latte and a panini on the way to work.

Last week I bought a breakfast sandwich and asked them to toast it for me. But I wasn’t watching to see if they put it in my bag and accidentally walked off without it.

I thought about going back for it a couple times but it wasn’t worth trudging through the snow and slush last week. This morning I went in again and had to decide if I would mention it or not.

I decided I didn’t want to be the kind of guy who complains about a $2 sandwich so I was just going to let it go. (It was basically my fault.) But the person behind the counter remembered me and immediately started toasting a replacement sandwich this morning, without me saying a word.

Such a tiny thing, but life is made up of tiny things, dozens of little transactions that can annoy you or make your day. I took a customer service class last week that encouraged people to bring up examples from their real lives.

People didn’t mention the time they had their mortgage held up for a month or the deal they got on their last car; they mentioned how they were treated at restaurants. The emotions we feel about customer service transactions aren’t related to how big the item is or how much money we spend.

If anything, we’re more critical of the little things because it should be easier to get them right.

The folks at Barnes & Noble got it right today and I’ll remember that $2 sandwich for years.

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Written by Michael B. Duff

February 16, 2010 at 08:29

Posted in Uncategorized

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