My daughter and I were on an errand in the outer reaches of northeast Toronto.
“I need a coffee”, she said.
A minute later, a McDonald’s sign came into view.
“Would McDonald’s do?”
“Sure,” she replied.
So we pulled into the plaza and found our way to the drive-in lane for McDonald’s. We ordered two coffees – one for her and one for me – and drove away, smiling.
“Did you notice how professional that young woman was?” I asked.
“Absolutely!” my daughter answered. “I love the way she dealt with us. So polite, and so professional.”
“Someone should tell her boss,” I said. “I’m betting most customers don’t bother to do that.”
But we hadn’t taken note of her name, so we drove back to find out and tell her boss.
The manager leaned down to our car window. We told her that her employee had provided the best customer service that both my daughter and I had ever come across at a fast-food restaurant.
“Thanks for doing this,” she said.
“Maybe someone should tell head office,” I said.
“I can give you the email address to write. Would you mind doing that?”
I shook my head. “Not at all. I’d be glad to.”
She wrote down the name of the employee and the email address for head office.
And then I lost the piece of paper. And forgot my good intentions.
Months later, on another errand nearby, I stopped at McDonald’s again for coffee, looked up to pay for my order and –- it was the same young woman. The one whose name I’d forgotten.
Again, she was courteous. Again, she acted as if I was the most welcome customer. And as if hers was the best job in the whole world. Now – no disrespect to McDonald’s – but how can someone who works at a drive-through window act as if hers is the best job in the whole world? Yet, this young woman did.
“May I please ask your name?”
“Maria,” she said.
“Maria!” I said. “Thank you.”
Weeks earlier, our kitchen faucet went on the blink. My husband went to two hardware stores to find the part, but failed. He ended up calling the manufacturer of the faucet, Moen.
He put down the phone in shock. “Their customer service is amazing,” he said.
Not only had Moen promised to ship him the necessary parts, free of charge, but the person on the phone made my husband feel as if his was the most important call she’d received all day. My husband could hardly believe it.
“Moen is like that,” I reminded him. “Some years ago, when our other faucet needed repairs, it was the same thing. Although the faucet was a few years old, Moen quickly offered to send us the replacement part. Don’t you remember? I was as shocked as you are now.”
“So customer service isn’t really dead,” he said, smiling.
Some days, it sure feels like customer service is headed for extinction. And sometimes, big companies seem to be the worst offenders.
But we are most thankful for these delightful exceptions. They proved our assumptions wrong.
N.B to my readers: If this sounds like advertisement for these companies, be assured I have no connection to either one. Nor is this a ploy to get free coffee at McDonalds!
This post is dedicated to Maria, and to all the people in this world who go over and above to provide courteous and efficient service to their customers.