Monday, June 11, 2007

The Service Is the Company

Some have wondered what ever happened with my dishwasher. I did seriously consider buying a new one but in the end, it just didn't make sense to me for our situation. So last week I called to have the repair done and of course I wondered how that would all turn out.

In a word, it turned out fine. In the first place, I had a miraculously easy time scheduling the repair. I'd sort of wondered about that both because of the challenges I'd had getting my oven repaired recently (hmm - I hope this isn't a trend!) and because of some of the horror stories I'd run across with another recent dishwasher recall. Easy-squeezy though - I went online near the beginning of the week last week and could have had a repair tech out later that same week if I'd been around.

I scheduled the repair for today instead and I'm running the dishwasher right now, as a matter of fact. Not only has the problem been rectified, it appears I have a new control panel as well and besides that, I spent a brief but enjoyable time this morning with the very pleasant and even humorous young man who came out to make the repair.

Here's a good guess - I'm going to remember the interaction with him far longer than just about anything else having to do with my dishwasher's manufacturer. Luckily for them, it was a good experience. They hired well. Apparently they trained well. And so far anyway, he seems to like his work well enough to find it easy to be pleasant on the job. Although we didn't discuss pay - or really any specifics of his job - I know that if he felt he was being treated unfairly in that department, it could easily show up in how he presents himself, so I'm guessing he feels pretty good about that too.

Here's something else they've done right - apparently they also really get that it's better to design a trustworthy system than it is to rely on the intelligence and awareness of individuals. I say this because, unlike the oven repair, where I ran out to the garage periodically to turn off and on the circuit breaker for the repair technician, this time the service rep walked out to the garage with me, watched me throw the breaker, verified that it was off and then red-tagged it so no one else would show up while he was working on the dishwasher and mistakenly turn it back on again. Apparently that happened to someone once - hopefully only once before they came up with this much safer procedure!

Have you had great customer service experiences? Send them to me at and let's share some of the good stuff too.

What can I do to be pleasant with the people who count on me?

Kimm Viebrock is an ICF-credentialed Associate Certified Coach who helps technology professionals and service-oriented technology groups develop and use their skills more effectively and increase their value within the larger organization, allowing them to do more, do it better and have more fun doing it. Kimm is devoted to finding the connectedness in life.