Take a Letter

For the second time this month we get to say that regular readers know that we have from time to time umm, expressed our displeasure at the service we’ve received from those for whom providing a service is their job but we are breaking from that refrain and saying what a terrific week, and often at the hands of others, that we’ve had.

It’s been a busy week for us at work, both of us extending a bit from our regular routines.  Yet we managed to get through another week at our workplaces where there were plenty of opportunities to confirm that there is a reason it is indeed called work.  Some people actually smiled.

They smiled so much so that we actually got to the weekend not completely needing it to be 12 days long to provide our requisite rejuvenation to start again on Monday.  The normal number of days should suffice.  And although the weekend held quite a few opportunities for people to amaze us at their poor choice of profession, they often did just the opposite.  Saturday morning we were wandering, and apparently looking every bit the part, around a not so nationally known home improvement store. Unfortunately there are only 15 of these centers but at every one we hope there were employees just as BUSY as BEAVERS at finding what their customers needed as they were at the one we visited.  We had at least 5 people come to us and ask if we needed any help finding anything.  And it wasn’t that robotic-like inquiry.  These people really wanted to help.  So much so that the first one who asked us actually did help us find the odd wall treatment we were looking for and expressly went then to look knowing if we didn’t see it right off, there would be someone to direct us.

We got to end our weekend on just as high a note as we were wandering, and this time we really did know to where, around a furniture showroom looking for some occasional tables.  As usual when entering one of those types of stores we were greeted by a commission based sales person and when we said we were just looking he went away.  Just like that.  And let us look.  When we found that we needed help we sought him out and as we were transacting our business found him to be such a personable person that we were ready to invite him out for a banana split.  No, we really didn’t, but we did find that he offered his suggestions based on what we told him we were looking for, the space they would fill, and purpose served and not on what was on hand, in stock, and not on sale.

So we had a couple good store visits.  What has any of that to do with the title of this piece?  Well, that’s the piece to end all pieces when it comes to customer service.  You’ll recall that we mentioned in the recent post, “Paging Doctor Bombay,” that we were at the doctors recently.  Actually for the two weeks before that piece was posted to about another two weeks from this one, Both of We will have made ten visits to various doctors.  It’s the time of year to have everything from head to toe checked on so we’ve out there visiting everyone from eye doctors to foot doctors.  And it was the foot doctor who threw us for the proverbial, and if we were young enough, the literal loop.

In “Paging Doctor Bombay” we proposed that a physician with a sense of humor would have the best bedside manner.  Maybe not a sense of humor as much as a sense of human.  Someone who has been where we are and knows the healing power of kindness.  In fact we ended with the supposition that “a cheerful heart is good medicine.”  She of We may have found our Doctor Bombay.  It was during the past week about 4 days after visiting the podiatric Doctor Bombay that She of We emptied her mailbox on the way into her house.  She noticed among the pile the sort of envelope that announces by size and shape that it is either an invitation to some event or a thank you from some other.  It was the thank you. But not a thank you for a gift she has presented to any one or a service she had rendered at any time.  It was a thank you from that very foot doctor.  “Thank you for allowing us to participate in your care.”  There was more.  And not just there was more that was written but that there was more.  It was written, as in hand written.  A doctor, taking the time to hand write a thank you note to a new patient.  Letting her know that regardless of what others in the health care business might think, it is a business and one that lives or dies on the service that is rendered.

That was enough to take both of us back more than a few steps and be amazed that there are people who recognize that without customers, there is no business.  Not clients, not consumers, not patrons or visitors or users.  Not even patients.  Customers.  Customers deserving of customer service.  And a thank you for being one.

Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?




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