Customer Service – Two Sides to Every Coin

August 3, 2015

We take Customer Service pretty serious at the Sea-Land Chemical Co. While we are human and do make errors, we try to make sure that correction of those errors go smoothly. We all have heard of or experienced good service. Unfortunately, there are many companies where the fundamentals of good customer service are severely lacking or are non-existent.

Bad Customer Service:

Recently one of our employees experienced a case of poor customer/patient service at an urgent care facility. She went to the facility (no appt. needed) and arrived at 3:01 p.m. They said they closed at 3:00 p.m. and directed her to their other facility that was only minutes away and was open until 4:00 p.m. She arrived at the second facility at 3:30 p.m. and upon arrival was greeted by a nurse sprinting towards her saying that they are really busy, only had one doctor taking patients and couldn’t help her. Never did she ask what she was there for nor did she offer other options such as,” If you don’t mind the wait we will get to you ASAP.” She then walked out with a really bad outlook on the way she was approached and treated as a patient.

Sea-Land Customer Service:

This is an example of how our customer service department handled an error as relayed to me by one of our customer service specialists:

“Recently, I was informed by a Sea-Land customer that there was a shipment that took place in which they received one tote over what they ordered and one drum short. I immediately looked into the issue and found that I made an error and felt terrible and responded back to the customer promptly with an apology and a way to correct the issue. I assured the customer that we will ship the one drum promptly, prepaid. I offered to defer payment on the one tote that was shipped over if he could accept it. The customer responded, “Human error does happen and I understand. Shipping the one drum promptly is fine and I really appreciate the offer to defer the payment on the one tote that was shipped but it is not necessary.”

A Two-Way Street

Nowadays, few individuals say “thank you” and people don’t seem to apologize when they make an error. Often the reasons many problems go unresolved without seeking a solution, are due to frequent interruptions and lack of communication. Taking the extra step in going above and beyond to make a customer happy is rare and uncommon.

I believe our staff at Sea-Land Chemical is great at understanding the value of all the fundamentals and that is why we are such a strong company. As one of our customer service specialists recently said, “Customer service starts within, treating everyone you work with like an internal customer.”

How the person making the error responds, as well as, how the customer responds, are both equally important. It is important that we as customers try to act civil and explain our side of the story and the ramifications. Getting upset and yelling at an airline employee because it is snowing outside makes no sense. My daughter had a recent situation with the garage where her car was being repaired. She said that she kept her cool, stayed calm and resolved the problem to her satisfaction. (Where was that calmness when she was 14?).

When everything is running smoothly, life is good. How a company responds when there are difficulties is a true measure of its customer care. It’s an opportunity to shine. Why not take it?

Please share with me any good or bad “customer service” stories you may have experienced or heard. Both will help educate all of us.

All the best,

Joe Clayton

President

Sea-Land Chemical Company