By Callie Oettinger | Published: July 27, 2012
I used to hang out with Customer Service’s evil twin Customer Hell.
You might know him. He deflects problems like Roger Federer does tennis balls—he sends them in directions you aren’t expecting, until you waste hours of time, scrambling to sort things out.
After years of being around him—whether at the phone company, the TV company, with home contractors (he gets around)—I picked up a few fleas. When things didn’t go right, I raised my voice, gave curt, sarcastic answers, belittled. It was the only way I knew how to deal with Customer Hell.
And then I screwed up and I needed Customer Service to help me out.
My family is addicted to Cheryl’s cookies. A couple of years ago, I bought them for clients, and mixed up the greeting cards. I had the wrong cards going to the wrong clients. When Customer Service answered my desperate call for help, I assumed Customer Hell was on the phone and proceeded accordingly—even though I was the one at fault. To Customer Service’s credit, he stuck with me until I realized I was talking with the good twin. He hustled to try to help, but the orders had already gone out. I called my clients to let them know of the screw-up and then wrote Cheryl’s a thank you for trying to help. Customer Service made me rethink my approach—my assumptions—and I wanted his company to know.
And then Cheryl’s sent me a generous discount coupon, thanking me for sending positive feedback. It seems I wasn’t the first to assume their phones were answered by Customer Hell, too.
These days, Steve, Shawn, Jeff, and I are borrowing Customer Service’s hat, trying to do for Black Irish what he does so well—get back to people in a timely manner, help out when issues come up, and so on.
For the most part, people have been kind and understanding—and for those assuming Customer Hell is up at bat, we keep cool and pull from Cheryl’s playbook.
We’re striving for Customer Service’s example—and banning that evil twin.
Along these lines, we’ve developed a Frequently Asked Questions page, to address some of the issues people have contacted us about. If there’s anything you’d suggest adding, please let us know.