Yes Virginia, there is Customer Service!

At the risk of doing a “product promotion commercial”, I have to tell you the following story.

Since moving to MA (and even before then), I have been surprised at the seeming downturn in customer service quality. I won’t name names, but my cell phone provider, the moving company we used, some well-established clothing merchants… all of them provided me with some pretty appalling cases of terrible customer service. Things such as never getting calls back, being sent round and round on the automated voice “help” system (only to be told “We cannot help you with that problem. Please hang up, and try again” – grr!) I was beginning to lose faith.

Then, today happened. I was studying for NCLEX, when the UPS truck pulls up. The UPS guys here in our town are a little like leprechauns – you catch a glimpse of them, but you can’t ever catch them. They drop off the package, give a quick “knock knock”, and run back to their trucks, quick as a blink. I open the door, and there is a package from LL Bean. I noticed right away that there was a large rip on the side of the package, so I took a quick look at the inventory sheet and was dismayed to notice that there were 2 items listed (a bath rug and a door mat), but only 1 item was in the package. Darn it!

I called the 1-800 customer service number on the back, expecting to get the automated voice system. I was shocked (shocked!) when a real human picked up on the 2nd ring! I explained to her that a package had been delivered, that there was a large rip in the package, and 1 of the items was missing. Then, the really amazing thing happens. After appropriately expressing her regret about the missing item, she says to me, “Is this Mrs. ______?” It took me a few seconds to recover – this woman knew my name?! I hadn’t given her any qualifying information, and yet just from my simple description, she knew who I was. I said, “Yes, it is”. She was so great, and told me that the rug was being shipped out, and even looked up the tracking information, telling me that it would arrive on Saturday.

Now, looking back, it would make sense if the UPS driver were to have called them to let them know that a package was damaged, but still! I was so impressed that, (1) I talked to an actual human being on the 2nd ring, and (2) that this woman knew my name, knew the problem, and cleared it up immediately. My faith in customer service has been renewed. Well, at least in LL Bean’s customer service 😉

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