Dec 3, 2010

Good Cheer at Christmas?

by Joan Sowards

Just as an author needs to know her/his audience while writing a novel, companies need to know and care about their customers.

Customer service has been discussed frequently in our home lately. Seemingly good companies have lost their good cheer toward customers, forgetting that the customer is who pays their paycheck.

Companies usually stretch far to please the customer. But as of late, my hubby was overcharged $20 for a prescription that the pharmacy refused to reimburse him for; a daughter was rudely treated in a well known toy store when she was told they didn’t price-match, and then when she decided not to buy the toy at their price, they took away the free gift she was given when she entered the store.

But this next example, though it starts out bad, has a happy ending. My daughter bought a warranty on her car that included oil changes. When she went to a service center, they told her they didn’t cover the oil change, and to call the dealer and ask where to take it. The employee she got on the phone was rude to her from the start, and when she asked why she hadn’t been informed that only certain centers did the oil changes, the man asked, “Was I the one who sold you the policy?” She said, “No.” He replied, “Then how am I to know?” and hung up.

Luckily the company actually had a great customer service policy, and this guy was one only one bad apple. My daughter called and left a voicemail complaint and a very sweet lady called her back. This individual gave her the addresses she needed and apologized for the first rep’s bad manners, and even offered to refund her oil change policy if she wished.

Somehow this ties in with writing. By stretching the point a bit, it reminds me that we need to know our customer, our reader, our publisher even, so that everyone is happy and we will be successful in our writing marketing.


  1. Good point, Joan! I'm glad your daughter's story had a happier ending. We do need to be informed and sensitive to who we are writing for. hugs~

  2. Very timely! I recently walked out of a shoe store after my daughter approached a saleslady to ask for help. The worker got within two feet of her, turned around, and headed to a corner of the store, just standing there.

    On that same day, we were given 10% off our purchase in another store because we had to wait in line due to a broken cash register.

    Guess which store will get our future business?

  3. My company is going through growing pains and we aren't as customer service oriented as we once were. Kinda disconcerting for us "older" folks who remember what it once was. Younger people seem less offended.

  4. Good service goes a long way. I am glad your daughter had a happy ending. I agree with Lynn I go where I receive nice treatment.


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