A Note on Customer Service

I had two interesting customer service experiences today. The only reason I decided to write about them is that I happened on an NPR story right after, that had everything to do with customer service.

One of my customer service experiences today was at the Italian Consulate, where there are usually long delays and a lot of attitude. There was neither today. As a matter of fact, the person who helped me was incredible courteous and totally made my day.

The second customer service experience left me confused: by mistake, one of the waiters at the expensive restaurant we were eating lunch at served "plain" iced tea from a jar to top off my glass of bottled tea (the bottle was next to the glass). I mentioned the error and he was incredibly apologetic, taking the glass away and offering to bring another bottle. After some time he brought the new bottle and a fresh glass. The bottle was closed. I finished my first bottle, then started on the second bottle. When the check came, we got charged for two bottles ($9.50). I spoke up, curteously, to our waiter. He took off one of the iced teas when he brought the check back for signing.

This goes to show that even though you may expect rude service, you may be pleasantly surprised on occasion, and that if you go somewhere where you expect a blow-you-away customer service experience, you can be left in the lurch...or at least confused, like I was.

And just to top of my customer experience/oversharing, as I was driving back home and channel surfing on the radio, I happened on NPR while Talk of the Nation featured a discussion on customer service with Emily Yellin, author of "Your Call is (Not That) Important to Us." Fascinating discussion and very much worth listening to.

PS - having a lovely lunch al fresco with the significant-other unit was the cherry on top of a lovely weather weekday in Chicago.