Best In Service

I had an interesting experience yesterday that was a great example of bad service and great service all within the space of three hours. Being in the business of advising clients, it was a good reminder of what to do and what not to do.

A friend and I went shopping for a new smart phone because theirs had stopped working and wasn’t salvageable. My office is a few blocks from a local AT&T store, so we decided to go there first because my friend is a loyal AT&T customer. We were met by a sales associate who upon learning we didn’t want Apple’s newest iPhone quickly lost interest. When we asked if they could help us transfer data from the old phone to a new one, they said that AT&T was “getting away from that because it was too time consuming,” and while he could give us a few suggestions we’d have to buy a monthly service plan for $11.99 if we really wanted help and that would be through a call center somewhere in Kansas. No thanks.

We decided to go to Best Buy since it’s impossible to speak to a human being at an Apple store to see if we needed an appointment, so after being on hold for more than 15 minutes we jumped in the car and went to Best Buy in Roseville where we met Dalton. He’s a young energetic guy getting his degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota and he was more than happy to help us..

“You want a pretty basic Apple iPhone, no problem. You’d like help transferring your data, happy to do it right here in the store for you. Need a new protective case, sure, and I just compared the price online on Amazon for you, so it will be $20 less than our retail price.” How refreshing. It was clear that he was there to help us.

I’ll admit that I had not been in a Best Buy for a few years, but that’s going to change now. It reminded me of how doing some simple things related to service can make a big difference and made me think of what the professional service guru David Maister says about the job of an advisor, it’s to be helpful and to act in the client/customer’s best interest, which in turn builds trust.

Trust that I’ll be going to Best Buy and not to AT&T.