Remember the last time you stood in line waiting to order food or pay for something and it seemed to last an eternity. The line moved forward at a snail’s pace. It seemed evident the cashier didn’t want to be there.

When it was finally time to communicate with the cashier they turned away or started talking to someone else. Finally, they looked at you. You asked them a question and they smiled as they said “we don’t offer that”…or, “we ran out of that”….or, whatever excuse they felt needed to be said to quickly get rid of you. Their failure to perform almost seemed to be a badge of honor that made them happy.

You somehow knew it would make very little difference to complain to their manager that probably “trained” this employee. Would the manager truly understand your customer service concern or just act annoyed? They accept poor hiring practices and have learned to live with the results.

The irony is companies with lousy customer service tend to tell us repeatedly how much they care and believe in customer service, yadda, yadda, yadda. They talk a great story but fail to walk the talk. They remain disconnected from reality.

The best thing we can do when we experience companies that will never understand customer service is quietly walk away and never go back. Eventually, those companies will become a product of their actions. Hopefully, they get replaced by better companies.

Customer service starts at the top and is an extremely fragile target. You either get it or you do not. A simple mistake or careless comment can quickly end a business relationship.

Companies that understand great customer service consistently put themselves in the shoes of their customers and strive to get better. They tend to ask, “how would I feel if I was on the other side of the counter and this business practice happens to me?”

That question must never go away if great customer service is a goal. Business practices must be fine-tuned constantly and become part of their working culture in all transactions. A great example of fine-tuning to meet the needs of customers can be found in John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s Service Maintenance Agreement program which we believe is second to none.

Our Service Maintenance Agreements were developed because we fully realized the importance of regularly scheduled heating and air conditioning service maintenance. Comfort, equipment efficiency, and safety of our customers have remained our primary focus.

We fully understand carbon monoxide risks and believe affordability should never risk lives, so we developed three levels of Service Maintenance Agreement to fit all needs at a fair cost to our customers.

Experience indicates existing service maintenance programs by others tend to cut corners and eliminate technical requirements. Some offer what looks like a reasonable monthly payment plan with an automatic bank withdrawal, but their service plans fall way short.

The reality is customers learn too late those other service maintenance programs typically fix old equipment that needs to be replaced. It’s often inefficient and unsafe. Customers deserve better. John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical often gets called to fix the mistakes of others.

Through time we have fine-tuned our Silver, Gold, and Platinum Service Maintenance Agreements. The great news is even the basic Silver plan is more complete than what others tend to offer. We can do this at a reasonable cost.

A Service Maintenance Agreement is a great way to reduce the risks of heating and air conditioning equipment failure. Why not be more comfortable and safer?

Deb and I are very sympathetic to providing good customer service because we fully understand how frustrating it can be to be abused. A few weeks ago on a vacation to visit family we rented a car in Portland, Oregon. We stood in line for an hour and twenty minutes to get a car that we had already rented online. It gets better….the car that was promised was gone and we were forced to downsize for the same cost! So much for customer service!

At the same time, I realize mistakes do happen. If John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical ever falls short in providing customer service, please let us know so we can make improvements and serve you better. Because of our customers we exist!

This article is dedicated to the people that fully appreciate great customer service and doing the right things to help others. You are important difference makers that help shape the world into a better place to live.

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