Simple Contrasts

Do you know what good service looks like? Let me tell you of a recent example of an interaction I had with Rogers Communications, my cellphone provider, that I’d like to hold up as a perfect model.

Because I was given a new phone by my new employer, I had no use for my old one. Same manufacturer, different version. My wife, Mamie, wanted the old one. I bought a new SIM card, swapped out the one from the old phone and inserted the new. All I needed to do was go online and make the change, or so I thought. I’m pretty swift at doing things myself but I found the Rogers website slightly confusing regarding the steps I needed to go through in order to do everything online. I decided to call the Help line and spoke to a representative immediately. She completed the transfer and enabled my former phone on Mamie’s account in less than two minutes. What’s remarkable is not the speed, although I was very pleased with that. It was the fact that the representative took the time afterwards to ask me about the website and if I could explain why it seemed non-intuitive (my words when I first called in). It was the interest she took in improving a subscriber’s experience in the future. I thanked her for her terrific support and then hung up and tweeted to her employer about the great interaction.

Do you know what poor service looks like? Here’s a perfect model.

There’s a restaurant on the ground floor of our condo building. It’s called the Tilted Kilt and is sometimes referred to as Hooters with Class but I call it just another place for guys to watch sports. There was a mini-uproar when it was being built because it’s basically a pub staffed by servers who wear short kilts and (too) small bras. That’s poor taste but it’s not poor service.  With a sense of fairness, we’d been talking with some friends about giving the place a try to at least be fully informed about the establishment. You know, maybe the food was actually good.  Mamie (yes, she shows up periodically in these posts) tried to make a reservation by walking in one day and speaking with the hostess. She was told that reservations can only be handled by the manager (odd) and she was given his email address (really odd). She sent the guy a message with the request. The weekend neared and she hadn’t received a reply and so she sent a follow on note. No email back over the next two days. Remember, we live upstairs and there are seven different restaurants all within crawling distance of our front door, and probably twenty more within three blocks, so it was not a big risk to just walk in that evening.

We said we’d had a reservation and were told by a young innocent in a too small bra that the restaurant does not take reservations. Holy Kafka. Mamie asked for the manager and what do you know, the dude was standing 10 feet away and came over. He greeted us and when Mamie informed him that she’d sent him two emails, as instructed, this is what he said with a big dumb grin. “Oh, yeah, I remember those.”  Mamie sliced him down to size in front of his flock of servers dressed, well you know how, by asking a simple question.  “Then why didn’t you reply to them?” Picture a blank expression. Picture Mamie standing there with me and our four male friends, waiting. Picture six young eager women looking, and waiting… with interest… for a man twice their age, their boss, to answer the question. Picture the six-foot man shrink from the most logical, polite, and assertive dressing down from a customer. Priceless. And I fell in love yet again with my wife. He said we could have a table in about an hour. I can’t recall if we even thanked him as we walked out (we probably did because we’re Canadian).

We crossed the street and ate at a another restaurant. The food was great and reasonably priced. The server may have worn a bra. Who knows. It didn’t matter.

About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

3 Responses to Simple Contrasts

  1. Robert says:

    LOL, I like that about Mamie!

  2. Peter Armaly says:

    I’m thinking of bringing her into my stories more and more. As another friend once said, Mamie should have her own show.

  3. This is great Peter. We miss you both.

    Danny & Sharon

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