You can’t tell me service is dead!

The people who claim that customer service is dead and weep for the future of our society have not met Josh Patterson.  Josh was our Sales Consultant at Carmax this weekend when we went looking for some new wheels.

Let me tell you about Josh. He’s a youngster… just 22 years old and has been with Carmax for 2-1/2 years.  He just started working in sales in January and before that he worked in inventory. He was knowledgeable, friendly, open, concerned about our needs, patient and accommodating.  Is there anything else you would want from a service experience?

After all was said and done, I think we spent 5 hours with Josh.  Walking the lot, kicking tires, taking test drives, asking about this and that, and sometimes confusing ourselves with all the details. Josh kept it all straight, answered our questions and made the whole process smooth and easy.

What really struck me was the way that Josh talked about Carmax.  He genuinely enjoys working there, feels like he is supported by the company and sees opportunity for growth.  The funny thing is that he didn’t really say these things as much as he implied these things.  And of course, I was watching and listening for clues!

The naysayers may say that Josh is the exception to the rule.  Okay, but what about Eli, the gentleman from the Carmax service department who was kind enough to speed my car to the front of the line without an appointment for a small buffing issue that was missed during the initial inspection?  Then, he politely explained about making an appointment next time – he didn’t make me feel stupid or punish me for not knowing any better.

Or then there is Rene, the cashier at CVS around the corner from Carmax.  I saw him interacting with two customers before me, both who spoke Spanish (as did Rene) and he treated them both as if they were friends, family members, or at the very least, repeat customers.  When I walked up, it was clear and cheery English that came out of his mouth and he was equally warm and friendly with me.

Last but not least was a young lady at Home Depot, just down the road from CVS.  I was heading to the self check out, and she greeted me with a smile, scanned my items for me and put them in a bag.  She did the same thing for another customer just after me.  Granted, self checkout is supposed to reduce the amount of cashiers, but the assistance was greatly appreciated.

My point to all this?  Customer service is not dead!  Let the naysayers wallow in their negativity and doom and gloom.  They aren’t looking for good service, so they’ll never find it.

But maybe they have done us a favor… Maybe companies have started to wake up and take heed of those who say that service is dead, and they are doing something about it.

Are you doing anything about it, or are you one of the companies the naysayers are talking about?  Leave us a comment about what you are doing to improve service.

About the author: Matt Heller’s nickname in his band is Mattissimo (which is also his WordPress username).  This is a combination of his name, Matt, and the musical term for loud, which is Fortissimo.  As a drummer, Matt has been described as “better than a metronome and more powerful than a garden gnome.”

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