Missing From McDonald’s Hamburgers: Customer Loyalty

Missing From McDonald’s Hamburgers: Customer Loyalty McDonald’s has been receiving a great deal of negative press for their financial performance after announcing their new turnaround plan. For the quarter that just ended June 30, the company’s profits sank 13 percent to $1.2 billion and revenues dropped 10 percent to $6.5 billion. That’s a big problem. Both the The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal recently ran articles: McDonald’s Earnings Falter Despite Turnaround Efforts and McDonald’s Initiatives Have Yet to Turn Tide.

According to McDonald’s new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, the company is trying to change the menus, work on reducing complexity and streamlining tasks for its franchises, like taking steps out of assembling menu items, changing the way packaging is laid out and implementing technology to improve communication between the counter and the kitchen. However, I failed to see any plan focusing on building customer loyalty or creating the ideal customer experience. What about improving the communication between the front-line associates and the customers?

I understand we are talking about hamburgers. Fast food drive-ins have all become a commodity. However, go to almost any neighborhood coffee shop and just stand back and see how the staff knows the customers’ names, their schedules, how they want their coffee and importantly, how they welcome a customer with that big smile. A smile costs nothing, but is priceless.

McDonald’s, in addition to changing the menu, should make creating and building customer relationships a priority.  Hiring the right employees and training them to deliver a customized experience and ensuring employee turnover is kept at a minimum is critical.  True, many McDonald’s customers are transient and drive-through, but worldwide are neighborhood stores where just as many people frequent the same establishment.  Do any McDonald associates know the names of their customers or anything else about them?  I guarantee that employees at Mary’s coffee shop do.

The following statement appears on the McDonald’s website to prospective employees: McDonald’s offers a chance to learn, grow and gain hands-on experiences that can set them up for success – whether here at McDonald’s or anywhere else they pursue their opportunities. And the pride that comes from bringing a little lovin’ to our customers every day.

I am not really sure how they bring a little lovin’ to their customers. Lovin’ is important, but there is more to creating a great customer experience than that. Teach associates the principals in the most successful business book ever written, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, in 1937.  His message is as valuable today as when the words were first written.  Mr. Carnegie believed that “financial success is 15 percent professional knowledge and 85 percent the ability to express ideas, assume leadership and arouse enthusiasm.”

It is most important that staff at the counters and drive-in windows be taught to understand the value of creating and building that special relationship. Going to a fast food restaurant should be no different in theory than going to a 5 star hotel.  A simple smile and trying to make a connection with another human being must be the basic standard in any industry.  Remembering the customer’s name and recalling it on their next visit can be the best turnaround plan for any company. Keeping up with a more nutritional conscience nation, apps that make our lives easier and looking at ways to improve productivity are all important, but when there is no focus on person-to-person communication, the package is incomplete.

Make sure your company grasps the importance of improving the human-to-human connection.  That emphasis is the secret sauce to create a winner.

6 Repeat Business Ideas for Retailers

6 Repeat Business Ideas for Retailers  It’s mid-July 2015 and we are celebrating summer activities; family vacations, picnics and summertime concerts. But as we get ready to move into the fall season, let’s set our sights on some ideas to generate repeat business.

The best opportunity for retailers to generate repeat business is for associates to create and build relationships with customers. We all stop at our local coffee shop in the morning to see Mary who gives us the big smile, knows when we are going on vacation, where we like to travel, if our children had a great experience at summer camp and what our plans are for back to school. Once you find your Mary, you won’t shop price and or seek out another, more convenient coffee house; your loyalty is towards Mary.

Here are my 6 repeat business ideas for replicating Mary at your business.

  • Teach associates to greet people like they would welcome a new neighbor into their home.  Communicate to front-line staff how important it is to smile and connect with customers as people first. It’s more important to find out about the customer than to know what’s in your inventory.
  • Ask customers if they have ever been in your store before, whether they purchased something or not. If someone is new, tell them more about your business; the best places to park in the future, your hours, the type of merchandise you carry, how long you have been in business, other locations, return policies, customer experience philosophy.  It will not only provide useful information, but more importantly, create a dialog and relationship.
  • Always tell the customer you can help them.  People like to feel they are speaking to a person who can help. The help might require asking another associate for advice, requesting more information or even referring a customer to a competitor. It’s not important how you help them, but showing the customer you care about answering their question or resolving their problem goes a long way.
  • Listen to emotions. Pay attention to what customers are feeling, not just saying. Unless a person is totally robotic, they are most likely happy, frustrated, excited, disappointed, etc. By expressing, for example, “you sound disappointed we don’t have your size in stock. Let me double-check and get back to you,” will create a new and beneficial relationship.  
  • Have business cards printed up for all associates. It will make your staff feel more important and it’s an excellent way to invite the customer to return. The employee can say, “I really enjoyed helping you today. Here is my card with my contact information. Now that I know your tastes, I can let you know if we get something in stock you might like. Would you prefer me to email, call or text? Just let me know.”
  • Keep in touch. Ninety percent of all retailers fail to show the customer they matter after the sale. That’s a big mistake. Just sending daily emails has a negative effect.  Brainstorm with your team about the best ways to show customers they are relevant after they leave your store.

I grew up in a retail environment. My dad owned a men’s store and I worked there in my early teens. I learned two important lessons.

It was more important to listen and learn the customer’s state of mind than find out their method of payment

When new customers entered the store, they were strangers. My father hoped by the time they left, they had become new friends

If more retail executives understood why they visit the same coffee shop to see their Mary and taught their associates the concept of customers are people first, customer second, I guarantee the percentage of repeat customers would exponentially rise.

Learn How To Build Character: Visit Camp Winadu

how-to-build-characterCamp Winadu’s 90-year anniversary is just around the corner so they must be doing something right. Their mission is “Building Character Through Sports.” Their claim is, “Sports create the opportunity for children to learn critical life lessons while having tremendous fun.”    Number one rule: “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.”  

From my experience, too many corporate associates at all levels are afraid to take any risk. Unfortunately, this creates an environment of stagnation instead of innovation. Although leaders talk about how their organization should, “think outside of the box,” it’s not possible when there is fear of retribution.

How did I learn about Camp Winadu’s philosophy?

We are vacationing for a few weeks in the Berkshires, beautiful here.  My children stayed with us for the weekend and we visited a sleep away camp so my 8 year-old grandson could participate in a ‘rookie’ day.  What is that?  An opportunity for a new camper to experience activities, the counselors, dining room – in effect, spend a “pretend” day at camp without parents in anticipation of becoming a full- fledged camper the following summer.  Driving up to beautiful Camp Winadu I think we were all a little nervous and uncertain about what to expect.

Whatever butterflies any of us may have had flew away with the first hello.  We were greeted so genuinely – the directors and staff were happy we were there and that message was conveyed in their welcome.  Each staff member told us their name and asked us ours.  The “rookies’ went off with their designated counselors and each family was given a tour.  Our guide, an assistant director, was thorough and answered more than our questions.  He shared information that he thought would be helpful about what our grandson would be doing and learning at camp everyday.

The staff was so amazing and put us at ease. Eliminating any trepidation, we were able to focus our attention on their important message of “we are passionate about using the power of sports as a teaching tool.” Through their programs, children learn critical life lessons while having tremendous fun. Some of those lessons are:

  • Win with humility
  • Lose with pride in their efforts
  • Be good teammates
  • Respect their opponents
  • Take care of their bodies
  • Value cooperation
  • Value consistent sustained effort

Camp Winadu believes, “children learn best in an environment where they are encouraged to try new things and improve their abilities without fear of criticism.” This is how character is built, that distinctive quality in an individual’s life that determines his or her response regardless of circumstances.

Perhaps all corporate leaders should experience summer camp where mistakes are encouraged to build character.  They could then create a business culture where employees would be encouraged to experiment.  In our competitive and global economy where the bottom line drives decision-making, leaders would be wise to take some risks in order to create inspiration.

I’m going to recommend to the owners of Camp Winadu that they open their facility to CEO’s for a week. I’m sure senior executives would learn the value of taking a risk which would make them better people and leaders too. Character is built one mistake at a time.

Lack of Communication Creates An Additional Malfunction

Lack of Communication Creates An Additional Malfunction A few weeks ago there was an unfortunate incident with a United Airlines flight.  The plane left Chicago bound for London and because there was an engine malfunction, had to be diverted to Goose Bay, Canada, for repairs.  Yes, unfortunate, but add insult to injury because the passengers were treated with disrespect and disregard.

When the passengers were interviewed about their experience, of course they were upset about the delays and poor accommodations, but everyone was particularly dismayed because they were kept in the dark without any information from United Airlines personnel.  Customers really wanted to know what was happening.  Did they plan to be in Goose Bay?  No, but they were, and would have been more satisfied just to be given updates.  The bad situation could have been better if the passengers had been engaged in a conversation and understood what to expect.

It is difficult to understand what United was thinking.  The passengers are their customers and they were completely ignored.  I would think that United doesn’t have too many flights that are diverted on a daily basis that are not related to weather delays. You would imagine there are procedures in place to inform the C-level executives when there is an issue with a flight. I’m confident if the passengers were sent a video message from the COO of United that the military facility where they were staying was the only place that could accommodate that many people, the passengers would have just thought it was bad luck and not bad service.

The crew was housed in a hotel; after all, they needed to rest in order to pilot and service the plane. That also makes sense and should not have gotten the passengers aggravated, but being ignored and left in a cold and barren barracks didn’t seem fair.  United offered its passengers a refund.  That totally misses the point. It’s the same as with cruise lines. An entire voyage could be spoiled because of a virus and reimbursement is not sufficient. However, if passengers are treated well and communicated with, compensation becomes less of an issue.

I wrote a blog about United Airlines (May 27, 2014) praising their customer service.  The United representative put all the passengers at ease when our plane was delayed.  He meticulously and patiently explained every detail about what was happening and what we should expect.  We were delayed but definitely felt better.

I was contacted by United Airlines after the blog was published thanking me for my comments.  The employee was commended and the blog printed and posted for all to read.  So my question is:  where is the consistency?  It is important for any company, airlines included, to have procedures and policies in place ensuring that customers feel important and appreciated.  If United Airlines recognizes that passengers were grateful for the information provided by the representative when there was a flight delay and those passengers were still on the ground, how could they not do the same when a plane had to be diverted to an out of the way place and passengers had no idea what was happening next?

Customer service is the keystone to repeat business.  In this situation, good customer service would have been to keep passengers in a precarious predicament informed.  It’s the very least United Airlines could have done.  Will those passengers ever fly the “friendly skies” again?  Maybe, but damage has been done.

Would you?

Wal-Mart Still Doesn’t Get It

Wal-Mart Still Doesn't Get ItOn the front page of The Wall Street Journal’s Business and Tech section, June 19th, was an article, “Welcome Back, Wal-Mart Greeters” subtitled, “To deter theft, and improve its customer service, the chain is bringing back a Sam Walton invention.”

Greeters are returning not only to say welcome with a smile, but also to act as “asset protection customer specialists.”  What exactly does that mean?  The Greeters are supposed to greet and make sure no one is leaving the store with any unpaid items. In other words, the Greeters are there to deter theft. In my line of thinking, the concept is an oxymoron. It’s impossible to check receipts as people are exiting at the same time as saying hello and helping them to find what they need.  If Wal-Mart wants to stop shoppers from stealing as the article portrays, security guards should be hired, like those employed by Home Depot or Bed Bath &Beyond.  It should go without saying that the security staff should be friendly and respectful and focused upon customers leaving the store, not coming in.   Greg Foran, Wal-Mart’s new CEO, told employees at a town hall meeting that they should walk the customer to the department after greeting them.  That is customer friendly.  But, I’m not sure how that’s going to work if they are primarily at the door to check receipts.

The author of the article reports, “The company is also boosting wages for some employees to give them more incentive to be more helpful and attentive.” I am a big believer in paying bonuses, but not for staff performing their everyday responsibilities.  Associates should be hired who are natural relationship builders.  Policies, procedures and training must be in place to further the effort.  Unfortunately if staff is paid minimum wage or slightly above, the pool of talented people will be less.

In my opinion, all box stores should place their staffing, training and budgets around hiring people to check-out customers, who are passionate about service, know the stock, have great memories for regular buyers and interact with customers person-to-person. The most important position at any Wal-Mart store is the associate at the checkout counter. That employee should be well compensated.  After all, the associates at the checkout counters are the only staff who consistently interact with customers.

It is the same with any grocery or food chain. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods certainly employ people who are highly capable of having a conversation with customers. Wal-Mart has experimented with scanning and in-side store kiosks where customers could checkout in advance, all to no avail.

Wal-Mart should not bring back Sam Walton’s invention of the greeter. Greeters were never supposed to act as security patrols anyway.  Instead, make the checkout counters into welcomer-counters. Especially with Wal-Mart building smaller sized stores and stocking grocery items to encourage regular visits, having associates who know the customers’ names, buying preferences and when their kids will be graduating from high school would make Sam Walton smile.

What do you think?

PayPal Doesn’t Seem to Care about its Customers

Paypal doesn't seem to care about its customersIn the last few weeks PayPal has been in the news about its new policy going into effect July 1st.  What’s causing the commotion?  The question involves using auto dialed or prerecorded calls and text messages to call not only the phone number given directly to PayPal, but to “any telephone number that we have otherwise obtained.”  Additionally, PayPal reserves the right to contact customers for surveys and promotions in addition to account-related issues. The user agreement is mandatory; there is no opt-in, only an unclear method of opting out.

PayPal’s suggestion for customers who did not like the new terms was, “Close Your Account Before July 1st 2015.”

After PayPal received bad press, they claimed customers could opt out of certain options by calling their toll free number. However, when customers first started dialing in, they were directed instead to close their account. Apparently, PayPal reps didn’t get the official memo.

The FCC is now getting involved stating the new user agreement “may violate federal laws governing the use of autodialed, prerecorded and artificial voice calls, including text messages.” The FCC notes that the agreement may run afoul of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

So, that’s the issue. What exactly is PayPal’s thinking?  It is obvious to me their new policy doesn’t make sense.  Customers are the most important asset of any company and why would PayPal nonchalantly tell customers to close their accounts and do business elsewhere. PayPal used to be the only game in town, but now has competition.  Stripe and Square, similar entities are backed by former executives of PayPal and of course there is Apple Pay.

I really don’t understand. Even the opt-out provision creates an unnecessary burden and is contrary to FCC regulations. According to the FCC PayPal must first obtain prior express written consent from any and all participants in order to make any kind of prerecorded call. The FCC also goes on to say that the company cannot make signing such an agreement a “condition of purchasing any property, goods or services.”

PayPal’s biggest defense is that this policy is not new.  Customers are just figuring it out, which means they may have been violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for some time. That doesn’t sound like a valid excuse.

Personally, I’m not PayPal subscriber. Many years ago I was an avid EBAY trader, collecting memorabilia related to the companies we represent.  I thought that PayPal was a novel idea.  It was a great way for buyers and sellers to exchange money through a third party.  However, now when I purchase on the Internet and there is an option to pay by credit card or PayPal, I select the former. I know if there is an issue with a credit card company, I can call and generally speak to a friendly and knowledgeable representative who listens to my concerns and can solve any problem.

Credit card companies have become very customer-focused. PayPal should follow their example.  Perhaps putting customers on their Board of Directors would point them in a better direction.  Certainly telling your customers to close their accounts is not a good way to do business.

What do you think?

Does Facebook’s New Feature Negatively Impact Personalization?

Does Facebook’s New Feature Negatively Impact Personalization?I have been asked recently to provide my opinion on the biggest customer service challenges affecting organizations today. My number one answer is that consumers want to do business with companies that provide personalized service delivery.  How can companies combine technology with the human-to human touch to create a winning combination?

Let’s use Facebook as an example.  Facebook is now testing a messaging feature for Pages that enables businesses to create, save and send canned responses to frequently asked customer service questions and feedback. The new feature is called, “Saved Replies.” The claim is that the new tool can be a big time saver, especially for businesses that receive a large number of questions from customers on Facebook. Companies are given sample responses that they can use or customize. They can also create new replies and save them for later use. For companies with varied questions, there’s also a way to search for answers.

I am concerned. While large companies have been using scripted responses for years, smaller organizations have not been able to afford the technology to supply the templates.  I’m not suggesting that employing technology to aid in developing quick replies might be helpful. However, an advantage that small companies have is their size and the ability to deliver a customized experience. Facebook is misleading the neighborhood store or unique boutique by encouraging them to reply to a question on their page with a canned response.

We know from our research that consumers are demanding more customized responses.  There will be frustration if an answer to a question not only sounds scripted but possibly is totally off the mark.  Are customers supposed to ask again?  Or, will they give up and seek solutions at a competitor?

Several articles have been written about this new feature and some have stated that it’s a great time saver for start-ups too. That really frightens me. Start-ups will never become sustainable businesses unless their early adopters are completely satisfied not only with product or service offerings, but feel the company truly values and appreciates them. Canned responses are dangerous and will not make the customer feel warm and cozy. Taking extra time to personalize communication is important.

Customers are upset when their questions are not answered completely.  Customers also appreciate when they are provided with additional useful information, and their underlying emotions are heard.  Tailoring messages according to a customer’s buying preference are a big plus. Customers are any company’s biggest asset. Use every question as an opportunity to engage the consumer. It’s definitely worth it.

What’s your opinion of scripted responses?

The Retail Customer Connection

The Retail Customer Connection The new “buzz” is all about the emotional connection in customer service.  I say, yes! Companies should be focused on creating and building relationships.  By forming a human bond, your organization will not only have a volume of happy customers, but customers who need, want you, and will return.

Service delivery can easily be replicated. Technological advances are being made every day to facilitate. But, it’s impossible to duplicate the bond between two people. In my experience, loyalty in a retail setting is not to the physical store, but person-to-person.

  • My favorite associate at Nordstrom, Ruth, who got to know me well, met members of my family and learned my tastes, moved to another state. And Ruth was not only my go-to person, she also met my emotional requirements of feeling wanted and cared for.  She made me feel special. On my next visit to Nordstrom, no one made a connection. I finally found another “Ruth” at a different department store and now they get my dollars.
  • Every time I went into my favorite coffee and bakery, Cait & Abby’s, it was Javi who gave me that big smile. I knew that Javi was glad to see me from 40 feet away. When Javi asked about my weekend, he listened and was interested. When he decided to go back to school fulltime, I was so excited. But, my bond was with Javi, not with Cait & Abby’s. There were other coffee shops in the neighborhood and, after a few tries, I found my “Javi” a few blocks away.
  • Most people are extremely loyal to the person who cuts their hair. In a fancy place, they might be called a stylist or it could be just an old fashioned barber. Why is the loyalty so strong? In a way, the interaction is set up for success.  You’re in a chair and there is almost always a conversation. The person certainly knows who you are, learns about your likes and dislikes and of course hears your special plans for the weekend; the wedding, your son’s graduation or daughter’s confirmation. The next time you arrive, you are eager to share everything that’s happened in between. A bond has been created that is important.  Many times if the person who cuts your hair leaves a particular place, you will follow wherever they go.

In every example, the loyalty was between two people, two human beings. What does this mean for retail?  You need to hire people who are capable of building that human connection and understand how it’s done. I named them; Welcomers. They are associates who see the customer as a person first, customer second. Equally as important is that you value each frontline associate, your Welcomers, and treat them as loyalty building blocks. Give each fair compensation and respect. If they are capable of making those emotional bonds providing hope, developing trust, and ensuring that your customers feel wanted and special, your business will flourish. If they leave, your company is put in a more vulnerable position.

Creating that human connection requires a series of steps, each one a part of the customer journey.  Using technology to enhance the process is a wise business decision; thinking that technology can replace the emotional aspect of the relationship is a “fool’s errand.”

Individual retail establishment are setting themselves up for failure if they believe a robotic encounter with a frontline associate will ever create customer loyalty. Without the human connection, there is no basis for an ongoing relationship and no repeat business.  If it costs 5 to 7 times as much to acquire a new customer as keeping the ones you already have, does that make sense? I don’t think so.

What do you think?

What’s Your Company’s Customer Loyalty Capital?

What’s Your Company’s Customer Loyalty Capital?ZipCap, a start-up in San Diego, is providing loans based on “loyalty capital.”  Testing a system that quantifies customer devotion, ZipCap is lending money based on the total dollar commitment customers make through a pledge to a specific business. Their mission is to fund local Mom and Pop neighborhood establishments.

I think it’s a great concept and novel idea.  What if every company could ask their customers to put in writing how much they will spend in the future?  The response would be telling and in this case, the foundation for acquiring needed capital to make improvements and grow the business.

The article about ZipCap appeared in the New York Times. The story focuses on Beezy’s Café in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The restaurant, which just celebrated their six-year anniversary, employs 16 people. They do a thriving breakfast and lunch business and recently extended hours to serve dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. They wanted to get a loan to help with their operations, but were turned down by two banks since financial institutions consider this type of establishment a risky venture. The owner and founder, Bee Roll, has no collateral. She rents her home and leases the restaurant’s space. The most valuable asset she has, which is the most valuable asset of every company, are loyal customers.

According to ZipCap’s website, “We turn customer loyalty into a line of credit. ZipCap is the loyalty program that helps customers reward their favorite local businesses. With access to affordable capital, these businesses can hire more people, make improvements (i.e. a new outdoor seating area) or expand their offering in other ways. Unfortunately, banks won’t lend to most of these businesses and the other options for capital are too costly to consider. Access to a line of credit through ZipCap will make a huge difference.”

ZipCap’s merchants start by recruiting an “Inner Circle” of customers who pledge to spend a set amount of money in a fixed period of time. ZipCap provides loans based on a percentage of those pledges. Businesses need to accumulate at least 100 Inner Circle members to qualify for a loan. When Bee Roll asked people to become part of their inner circle, it was easy to find members. ZipCap helped to cement an even stronger bond between Beezy’s Café and its most devoted customers.

For years I have been asking companies to disclose their “at risk” factor, a concept I think is important for any business.” All businesses carry insurance for many purposes: property and casualty, workman’s compensation, professional liability, etc. But, what about their insurance coverage to assess their customer devotion? While it’s not an exact science, by asking customers, “using a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to continue doing business with our organization over the next year?” helps your business establish its “at risk” factor.

I really like the concept of customers committing their loyalty and dollars to a company. Most Mom and Pop stores understand how to show their customers they count.  They know their names, give them a big smile when they walk in the door, ask them about their day before ever asking about their order, and when they leave, say, “I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.”

I had the pleasure of speaking with Evan Malter, ZipCap’s founder and chief executive officer. He told me, “It’s worth noting we turn loyalty into access to capital but also the accessing of capital into loyalty. By engaging customers in this process, they feel a stronger bond with the business and have a better understanding of their impact. This creates greater loyalty and stronger referrals.”

ZipCap has created a fantastic business model. I’m so pleased that they found a way to quantify the value of loyal customers. Kudos to them for creating a new formula to help companies that know how to provide the ideal customer experience.

Image courtesy of The New York Times.

Can Poor Customer Service Cause a Heart Attack?

Can Poor Customer Service Cause a Heart Attack?Angela Hawkins, a Virginia grandmother, is suing Verizon for $2.35 million, claiming the company was responsible for both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Ms. Hawkins says she got so upset after being threatened by a supervisor that she ended up in the hospital where an EKG confirmed she had experienced heart failure.

It will be up to the courts to decide the case, but from my own personal experience, I know that poor customer service can raise my blood pressure. All of us in the field of customer experience understand the lifetime value of purchases and past loyalty and don’t understand why others just don’t get it. I had my own situation with Verizon. I have been a Verizon Wireless customer for over 25 years. I upgraded my phone and the representative recommended I change my plan based on past usage. The following month my bill almost doubled. I went to the store to resolve the issue and the manager was more than unreasonable. I wanted to go back to my old plan and receive a credit. I felt the rep had made a mistake in reviewing the plan already in place. I received a flat out “NO.”  Really, after being a customer for the last twenty-five years?  You can bet my blood pressure was soaring.

The word “no” gets people frustrated and upset.  All my loyalty to Verizon was tossed out the window.  The company was missing the forest for the trees by not considering my years as a customer and potential future revenue. I was furious and can still remember getting more and more angry and feeling my entire body was in a free for all. It wasn’t even about receiving the refund, it was about the way I was treated with total disrespect. My business was unimportant and under appreciated.

Back to Ms. Hawkins. In her case, the supervisor said he was going to send the police since she had threatened to kill everyone in the call center. She waited for two hours in her house, scared that the police were going to show up at her door. How many grandmothers do you know who would be so frightened if this happened to them that it would make them sick? A legitimate question. This was all over a $60 credit. The supervisor called back two hours later after listening to the recording between Ms. Hawkins and the agent to apologize.  He said she never threatened anyone. It was just a miscommunication.

My wife and I decided that I get too aggravated when I hear “no”.  No also takes the form of “I can’t, I won’t, it’s our policy, etc.” Getting so frustrated isn’t good for anyone’s health. Now, I just walk away or hang up the phone. If it involves money, I forget about it. No amount is worth the chance of getting sick.  I have actually put aside dollars into an account for stupid companies. I will give-in easily, just say fine, but never step back into the store or do business with them again.

I love being in the field of customer service, but it’s like being a doctor who gets sick. They know what needs to be done to get them better. Whenever I experience poor customer service, I know better.

Have you ever gotten so upset that it made your blood boil?