Customer Care

Port-to-Port is a part of a program called Seismic that is provided by Ingram Micro. I’m giving a presentation at the first Seismic Partner Conference. My title is “Putting the Service in a Managed Services Practice.” Managed Services is an industry term that elicits a lot of debate about its definition. My discussion will sidestep that debate and make the point that we went out of our way to create this phrase that includes the word service and we’re spending all of our time and attention on the managed part instead. That’s all I’ll say so I don’t spoil the punchline of my speech.

However, since I agreed to do this presentation, I’ve been attuned to the service being provided to me as I go thru my day. Overall, it sucks! We’ve been conditioned to accept lousy service. We aren’t even shocked to receive truly appalling service. Exceptional service is so rare now that we start looking around for the candid camera or Ashton Kucher because we’re sure we’re about to be “Punk’d.” I realized, during my heightened sensitivity, that we’re a big part of the problem. We don’t insist on better service. We don’t point out the lousy service to people who can do something about it. And, more importantly, we don’t acknowledge the exceptional service and make sure that the people responsible are celebrated.

I was standing in line at the post office. There were about 7 people in line and only one service person at a counter that had five or six stations. The lady in position six turned to the man in position seven to complain about the lousy service being provided. He joined in. I, standing in position three, could hear them, as I’m sure the lone postal representative could also. I paid more attention though. This young man behind the counter was going above and beyond with each customer. He looked them in the eye and greeted them as they approached. He helped them to figure out what postal services they really needed. e even ignored the two complainers at the end of the line. This guy was awesome! When my turn came, and he treated me in the same great fashion that I had witnessed with his previous customers, I told him how impressed I was with his care and concern. He paused, then smiled and said, “Thank you.” And yes, I made sure I was loud enough for the whiners to hear my compliment. I’m sure they received the best service they would get all day when they became the sole focus of that incredible young man.