When a company does you a disservice, they most often if they are a decent company offer an apology and then try to do something to correct the error. When Elizabeth, Chaim Yosef and I were in Florida recently, we encountered a sort of bad customer service that just kept on compounding itself until I had to stare at the offending party and think to myself, “How is it possible that this person was given a job like this?”
It used to be that if you sent a parcel, you could expect that the parcel would arrive in a timely manner and that the parcel delivery service would be able to give you status updates on the parcel as it made its way along its route. Sure, some packages do get lost but when a company tells you that everything is okay and you can see from the facts in front of you that everything is not okay, it gets extremely aggravating.
I am beginning to wonder if banks are really serious about keeping their customers or if they are more interested in driving them away so that they can have more free time to stare at the walls of the building. I have been driven absolutely mad because of the acquisition of Washington Mutual Bank by Chase Bank and the absurdly long transition period involved.
I was raised in a time where the philosophy of the sole proprietorship — or any business, really — was “The Customer is Always Right.” My grandfather owned a pharmacy in a small town in Nebraska and when, as a young boy, I would visit him during the summer and “work” for him, I watched as each person walked into his pharmacy for service and grandfather would stop whatever he was doing and give the customer 100% of his time and attention. Sometimes they wouldn’t even ask him a question – they were there just to shoot the breeze. Sometimes he didn’t sell them anything.
Oftentimes he gave them more time than they bought in service. Today I wonder what happened to that Golden Rule of Business where “The Customer is Always Right.”