For any entrepreneur, your business won’t last long without a solid customer service policy. The bigger the company gets, the most control you start to lose…this is when it’s more important than ever to provide solid service, especially to best customers. Take this little incident for example. I was in Columbus, OH for a conference in mid-November and rented a car from Hertz. I’ve got some mad status at this car rental company, after using them for almost 7 years on the road. I’m even a member of the President’s Circle…whatever the heck that means, but don’t I sound important? The car sat in the hotel garage all weekend, as I never had time to get out and use it. So imagine my surprise when I return the car and am greeted by a bitchy rental agent saying, “Did you do that?” No “good afternoon.” No ‘how are you?’ No “How was the vehicle?” But instead, a question that more resembled an accusation. Frankly, I was confused, and walked around the front of the car where she was sourly pointing. Clearly there was a gash on the front left bumper. Nothing too major, but it was there. I told her I didn’t do it, and she responded, “Yeah right.”
Wow…I bet Hertz didn’t teach her that line during training! But that’s what she said, incinuating I was lying. This is bad customer service. I mean, at least act like you’ll give a customer the benefit of the doubt. At least pretend like you have some faith in humanity that we’re all not a bunch of decits, out to gash Mazda 6 bumpers across the universe!
Now bad customer service can be reversed. In some cases, it can make a shockingly bad experience (like mine) a shockingly good one. I have written a letter, faxed a letter and sent an e-mail sharing my experience with Hertz corporate and the local Hertz at the Columbus Airport. Grand total for damage is about $500. With the multiple thousands of dollars I spend on Hertz car rentals every year, they’d be mathematically challenged to make me pay for this, knowing they will lose my business. But many companies can only see the short term gain, and these same companies usually fail. At the end of the day, customer service is emotional. It’s about relationships. It’s about how you make a person feel, and how you treat them. All these things reflect back on your company. We’ll see how Hertz responds and I will keep you posted on my blog.
But in the meantime, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’ll do the right thing.