Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Service is a Science

I love studying the ways people do business. It borders on an obsession, truly. I'm a bit of a sensitive consumer, if sensitive is defined by wanting to be treated like a human who gives out money.

Hopefully, the Lord has blessed you with Chick-fil-A in your area, but if not, just try to picture an operation where cheerful, efficient, human touch service accompanies food that tastes as though angels made it.

These people get it.

As I told you before, one of our CFA's pioneered a new amazing order process to speed up drive through times.

Well last week, my Starbucks, which is also the highest volume Starbucks in town, tried this out for their drive through. I went and chatted up the employee who was taking orders since I was on my walk and she said that they, too had seen better order times.

Now they are already the highest volume store in town, so they could just sit around and be happy with that. But they don't. They try to make it even better. And they are still the friendliest, nicest people - no human touch gets lost there.

Yesterday, there was a little furry trauma at Casa Blue, which led to my thoughts about service. Maddie Bat has a little virus that's pretty common in cats, which causes her to have eye problems about once a month and I needed some more eye drops. I placed my order with 1-800 Pet Meds, and they didn't fill it because my vet wanted me to call him. He asked that I bring her in so he could see her and talk to me. This of course, caused me great anxiety.

She wasn't jazzed about it either.

But I have to say, she loves Dr. Rafferty, and I've never had a veterinarian who was gentler and kinder to my animals. He's so sweet and always pats her and takes his time with her so she isn't too anxious. No vet has ever been so gentle and loving to my animals and I've had a lot of animals and a lot of vets.

Anyway, he told me that the medication I had been giving her had actually been found to cause an anaphylactic reaction in some cats that killed them in two minutes after they were given the eyedrop. YIKES. So he wanted to change her meds, obviously. He gave me a new medicine, and we were off to restore her spirits after a trip out of her safe zone.

At about 9:30 last night, I remembered to email 1-800 Pet Meds and cancel my order with them. Honestly, I expected it to be days before getting a response or a refund.

Much to my surprise, within ten minutes, I had not only a personal response, but a refund, and a credit towards a future order.

Here's what the email said.

Thank you for your email, Lydia.   We hope this email finds you and Maddie doing well today.  We have processed your request to cancel your order.

We are sorry that we were unable to complete your order and hope that you will keep us in mind for any future needs.

We look forward to helping you and Maddie again.  Please give her a big hug for us.

Please give her a big hug for us??

That is MADE of awesome. As is answering my email at 9:30 at night. I will be a super loyal customer.

It's amazing to me how some companies study and work on the customer experience and some - well, some, er... don't.

I'll stick with the ones that do. :) Thank you Starbucks and Chick Fil-A and Dr. Rafferty and 1-800 Pet Meds for recognizing that I'm a human being. Or, in the case of the latter two, a human being and a beloved furry.

On the stampy front, today I'm honoring a carryover set because I HAVE MY NEW CATALOG! EEP. But wait, first the carryover set - Mouthwatering. I've collected all the citrus themed sets over the years because I'm obsessed with lemon/orange/lime images on cards. Citrus is inherently happy, I think. :)
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Stamps: Mouthwatering, Delightful Dozen Paper: Whisper White 
Ink: Daffodil Delight, Lucky Limeade, Basic Black 
Accessories: Rhinestones, Dazzling Details, 2.5" Circle Punch, 1.25" Square punch

I'm sorry to see some of our sets go. If you want them, you need to shop now. The catalog ends on May 31st and the new OMG AMAZING one begins on June 1. :) If you want a giant discount on all the new stuff, they are also rolling out a $99 totally customizable starter kit you can get your paws on right now

So what's your favorite company? The one that treats you like a human? I'd love to know which one it is and why.



  1. Hey Lydia! You continue to keep me amused and informed and thinking, thinking, thinking. I too am obsessed with good customer service. I am wondering though why you use 1-800-PetMeds instead of getting your meds from your vet??

  2. I love reading your blog to get your "take" on things! I wish our Starbucks was as good as yours. I went there every Wednesday for close to two years with a small group of women. When one of us couldn't make it one day, she tried to leave a gift card at the counter & instructed the cashier to use it to buy all our coffees that day. The cashier had no idea who we were & neither did the other workers. And being a group, we even had to rearrange the furniture every week - you'd think they might notice that
    . The cashier would not accept my friends gift card to buy our coffees. We immediately changed our meeting place to a local coffee house which is not so convenient to get to but they treat us like queens! Always happy to see us! Thanks for letting me vent!! (and yes, we wrote to the Starbucks corporate office to let them know about this & got no reply)

  3. I love getting your perspective on things every day! And your card is just a bonus! Our Starbucks cashier didn't recognize my group even though we had been going there every Wed. for 2 years. My friend couldn't make it one day & wanted to purchase a gift card & then have the cashier use it to pay for all our coffees that week but nobody in the place knew that our group came in every Wed. We even move the furniture around to accommodate the group - not one person working there knew us after 2 years! We quickly changed to a local coffee house which isn't so convenient to get to & we're treated like queens there. Wish our Starbucks was like yours! And yes, we all sent a letter to the corporate office but got no reply . . .


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