Sunday, May 29, 2011

A customer service "good news" story

May 27, 2011

I am in the process of completing a complex legal and financial transaction related to a major purchase. Among those involved were real estate agents, management companies, bank staff, attorneys and brokers. Since we are constantly warned about information being stolen from internet sources and then put to nefarious uses, I am being more circumspect about the details than I once might have been.

It is worth taking time to acknowledge (I hope I am not being premature, since there is one more step to be completed) the number of competent, congenial, proactive individuals I have encountered. They included two realtors, my financial management firm, my bank (both the local branch and headquarters) and-on-the ground property managers. There was only one weak link in the chain, an off-site property management staff member who provided inaccurate financial information in a transfer document and required repeated promptings and reminders, from several sources, to make the necessary corrections.

All of us have horror stories to tell about dealing with the bureaucracies of health care providers, insurance companies, IT support organizations (with the exception of Apple) and government bureaucracies such as the Social Security Administration. A close acquaintance often shares this concern, in frustration: “We have college educations, reasonable incomes, internet connectivity and a degree of IT literacy. How do are fellow-citizens, particularly the elderly, who may have none of these get the support they need and protect themselves from getting scammed and cheated.”

That being the case I wanted to share the following excerpt from a letter of acknowledgement I wrote to one of my financial advisors. He is not located in Washington. Our connection has only been by Email, paper correspondence and telephone. But in this recent and many other occasions, he has demonstrated what is possible in a well-managed organization that recruits high-quality professionals with integrity and then empowers them to do their very best. My letter follows:

Dear Edward,

Thank you for both your phone message and email. I checked my account balance on line, this morning, and the funds were available. However I decided I would complete the bank process before getting back to you. All went smoothly and believe we will be ready to complete our transaction early next week..

Please know that I do not for a moment take lightly the consideration, effort and skill that you brought to the process of making these funds available, on relatively short notice. At every step along the way, I had complete confidence that if there was a way to have things go smoothly, in a timely manner, you would find it.

Sadly we have entered in era when, in the name of “efficiency,” we must often seek “customer support” from indifferent, faceless minions employed by disembodied bureaucracies, situated in distant locations. With this reality as normal, the engagement high quality support, congeniality and professionalism that I have come to know as your hallmark is not only to be gratefully acknowledged, but celebrated and cherished.

With best regards and best wishes.




Anonymous Sonia Roody said...

The feeling sounds mutual as the both of you did the best in keeping everything in check. Sending that mail really brought more harmony to the relationship.

7:38 AM  

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