The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: A Customer Experience Blog Series

By Nicole Hradek

dateMon, Aug 17, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Have you ever been so enraged about how a customer service representative was treating you? Did youCustomer_service-good-bad-ugly think, “How on Earth are they still in business when they treat their customers this way? My employees would never treat our clients like this.” Or maybe you have experienced the complete opposite and had such a fantastic customer experience that you were left speechless. They had you thinking, “How could I implement what she did in my business? My employees have to start doing this.”

John DiJulius, The Authority on Customer Service, has inspired me to thoughtfully live one of our core values, Go the 2nd Mile, for our clients by speedy replies to emails, and other secret services. John has also raised my expectations on how I should be treated as a customer above and beyond what most places could ever offer. But it doesn’t mean I should desire any less than extraordinary service. Thank you, John, for inspiring me to give my best and for expecting the best from others.

During these hot summer months, I have had the privilege to experience fantastic customer service; not-so-good, policy driven customer service; and hideous, makes-me-look-stupid-because-I’m-the-one-yelling customer service experiences. These stories are too long to write in one single blog, so I thought I would spread it out, keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to read more about the ridiculous (good and bad) encounters I have had with people. Writing this out, I’m wondering if I’m the one that is hard to work with since I expect so much from others to simply do their jobs, so maybe you can be the judge of that. My friends tease me all the time when I point out things someone should have done to make our experience more enjoyable. And by tease, I mean get annoyed.

Before the first blog of the series, The Good, is posted, I wanted to shout out to the companies who didn’t make the cut. It doesn’t mean that their good customer service wasn’t good enough. I just didn’t know how to make my experience a good enough story. Same thing goes for the Bad and the Ugly. Let’s start off with The Good:

The Good

I seem to have exceptional experiences with small businesses. Everybody seems to be happy to work there! My Good shout-out would have to go to Zen Fusion restaurant here in Charlotte. The owners, Phong and Jenny, always make sure Rhythm Systems is well taken care of. They specially deliver lunch to our office, always have space in their restaurant for company dinners, and will make anything we order that is not on the menu. (Our CEO, Patrick, has an imaginative appetite.) Not to mention their food is delicious! I have recommended this restaurant to friends and strangers, and I have never heard of anyone not enjoying their time while dining at Zen.

The Bad

I received a phone call one afternoon from a woman at UPS saying there was a package addressed to my supervisor, but it had the wrong address on it. She said even though she knew the correct address, she was legally not allowed to deliver it, but I could pick up the package at the UPS store, which happened to be across town. So, I took down the sender’s name, the incorrect address it was sent to and the address of the UPS location. I drove 20 minutes there, and the first thing the ladies at the desk asked for was the tracking number. Well, the woman on the phone didn’t give me that information. I didn’t know I needed to ask for it. Should I have known? This has never happened to me before, but I suppose it’s common sense for me to ask the “delivery expert” for the correct information I need to pick up the package. The ladies at the desk told me I’m basically out of luck without a tracking number, but they looked anyway. We tried calling back the number that called me. I called my supervisor to ask if she was expecting anything delivered to our office. After searching and making phone calls for an hour, they never found the package. A year later, we never received the package! Lesson learned: make sure to ask for the tracking number because they will probably not think to give it to you.

The Ugly

In November 2014, I was in a car accident that resulted in my car being a total loss. My insurance company was a pain in the neck (pun intended) to deal with! First, my claims adjustor lost my car over the Thanksgiving holiday. He said it was going to one tow lot while it was actually at another location. Then, he went on vacation extending from Thanksgiving while I was making phone calls trying to figure out where my car actually was. Once he came back from vacation a week later, it took him another week to determine my car was a total loss. I ended up having a rental car for three weeks because the adjustor was so slow to process my case. I never thought causing an accident would cause many more problems beyond what I was already expecting! I am going to a different insurance company as soon as my claim is resolved (yes - it is still open in the summer of 2015). I was already in distress from the accident, but the whole experience was a nightmare.

With that, Rhythm blog readers, there are more stories to be told. I hope to inspire you to think of how you treat your clients and how you’re treated as a customer. We are all human, we should all be kind, we should all think of others. We should all help each other, especially if we’re the expert in what we do.  Stay tuned for the winners of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of customer experience. The results may surprise you. If not the results, then the experiences definitely will!



 Photo Credit: Flickr User Tracey Adams, CC license


Nicole Hradek


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images