Janelle's Blog

Customer Service Gone Bad

After returning from a road trip, I dropped by a full-service car wash to get rid of my car’s road grime. Most of the time, car wash services are quick and pleasant. As I drove up, two young sales attendants, a man and woman dressed in black, stared me down with eagle-focused eyes on my car. By the way, my car is not a Lamborghini. It should not have drawn that much attention.

I rolled the window down and asked for a simple outside wash with an inside vacuum. Immediately, the man said, “You don’t want to have your tires cleaned? You should get a full-service wash.”

“It’s not necessary,” I said. “I only want it vacuumed.”

“You are not going to get everything you want unless you get a full-service,” he said as he pointed to the sign that displayed prices of $25-$145.

“Just give me the cheapest thing you have today,” I said.

“Is it the price or time that is the problem?

I was a bit taken back by his interrogation. “There are several reasons, none of which I wish to discuss with you,” I said.

Disgusted, he said, “That will be $9.95.”

“I’ll take it,” I said, as though I had just won the Lottery.

As I rolled up the window, the woman yelled, “You’re NOT going to get the air-freshener.”

My thoughts, Who cares! I don’t want my car to smell like a cedar forest anyway.

Good Treatment Starts with a Mental Adjustment

How many times have you done business with companies and been treated like a cash register, waiting for them to ring you up? It takes so little to be above average in customer service.

The companies I continue to do business with are those I build a relationship with, which means demonstrating a mutual respect. In other words, let people feel that you appreciate them by not taking advantage of them while trying to negotiate products and services.

Whether it is for business or for my household, I maintain long-running relationships for years, as long as that principle is intact.

The owner of a carpet cleaning company that has cleaned my home and business carpets for 15 years, told me one time that he always enjoyed doing business with me because I paid my bills promptly. My thought is, Don’t use a service until you can pay for it.

The best we can offer people is to stop de-humanizing them, and treat them with respect and appreciation. That carries into all areas of our lives.

Take it to the Next Level

We need to realize that when someone is going through breast cancer or any other difficulty in life, you may not be aware of their stress level. You may be able to give someone the gift of a simple smile that moves them from having a bad mood to enjoying a good day.

Getting really practical, no one wants to associate with someone who treats them badly. Take your relationships to a higher level. Let your automatic mental filter be, How can this relationship further both of our interests?

If you adopt this philosophy, you will be able to hit multiple levels of business and personal relationships and keep them growing.

Thought for Today:

“I ain’t saying the customer service in my bank is bad, but when I went in the other day and asked the clerk to check my balance…she leaned over and pushed me.” Anonymous

Live Life,


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