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"Back in 20 Minutes"

    • 184 posts
    January 8, 2007 3:35 AM EST
    Don`t have a "20 minutes" story, but there is a business in this building whose hours are so non-consistent, I am not sure how they stay open. There`s still a sign on the door stating that they`ll be closed until Dec 30th.
  • January 8, 2007 6:46 AM EST
    boy, i don`t know about you, but i bend over backwards to service my customers and all i get is "i`ll get back to you. . ."  nobody cares about anybody anymore, except themselves.

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    But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrew 11:6

    • 0 posts
    January 8, 2007 6:47 AM EST

    I have a `Back in 10 Minutes` story!

    It happened right before the holiday as I was going to purchase a bunkbed for my son so he could invite friends for sleep-overs. 

    I went to the store at about 11-ish in the morning and saw the note "Back in 10 Minutes" and right away I say to myself, "from when?"  So I went back to my car, (which also happens to be a Jeep) waited and waited.  15 minutes had gone by and the door was still locked!  Then I realized that about 6 months ago when I came here to buy a futon, the lady mentioned how much she loved the fact that she worked nearly by Starbucks coffee. So I got off the car and walked to Starbucks. Sure enough, there she was, sipping her coffee, talking to whoever on the cell phone. 

    I walked up to her, being as polite as possible, and said, "Excuse me. You work at the futon store, dont` you?" She said, "Yeah, hi." I said," the note said you would be back in 10 minutes. I am not sure when that 10 minutes started at but I have waited for 15 minutes in my car already." 

    She jumped up, still holding her cell phone and said in such a hurry, "I`ll call you back." and walked me back to the store. 

    Well, she gave me a big discount on the bunkbed plus no charge on delivery so I decided to forgive her.  But as I left the store that day, the note "Back in 10 Minutes" was still on the door!

     

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    Life isn`t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

    • 105 posts
    January 18, 2007 6:46 AM EST
    Who has a "Back in 20 Minutes" story to share?


    Rich I am kind of experiencing one now. I a currently a Vonage customer but sometime the people I speak to can not hear what I say. I have spent so much time on the phone with Vonage trying to solve the problem, with their tech support I figured it was not worth my time anymore so I added phone service to my Comcast account. I had an appointment with Comcast to install the phone service Jan. 6th. I came home early and they never showed up. When I called they said the appointment was canceled. Then they found out it was canceled because Vonage was not porting over my number. We reset the appointment this time they showed up and installed my new modem but the number was not ported so I have to be here for a third time when they will hopefully be able to hook up the line.

    I have another similar story which I will share later.

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    <A HREF="http://www.AuditAuctions.com">Get ISO Certified</A>

    • 105 posts
    January 18, 2007 8:27 AM EST
    OK here is my other horror story. I have a Samsung Pocket PC phone with Verizon service. I upgraded the Windows software on my phone in October. Ever since I updated my phone and something did not load correctly and when ever I plugged my phone into the cradle to sync with my laptop it would disable my wireless connection to my home network. (I know pretty weird). To make along story I estimate I have spent about 4 hours on the phone with Verizon...4 Hours with Samsung (The Samsung level 3 tech support guy told me the new operating system turns the phone into a modem so it was designed to do what it is doing) and 3 with Microsoft. Well I got the phone to where it will not shut down my network...but it will still not sync to my computer. It seems that the USB driver was not there so when ever the phone was in the cradle it tried to connect using the wireless functionality in the phone. I am just amazed that it took all this time, sometimes getting transfered to 4 or 5 people who all want to verify who you are before you can talk to someone. If it was not so necessary for me to have my computer and phone synced up I would have gave up a long time ago. I know by reading this it does not seem like a  major problem...but I am not exaggerating about the time spent with these morons.


    Rich...I wish we wereonly talking 20 minutes. :)

    John

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    • 165 posts
    January 8, 2007 1:34 PM EST

    That`s funny...I actually had an experience with a vacuum store where I basically ignored the sign on the door that said back in 15 minutes. I saw it as I pulled up and decided to wait until I saw the person walk through the door (luckily I had some phone calls to make anyway)...when nothing happened for about 20 minutes I walked up to the door to see if maybe it had just been inadvertantly left on the door...unfortunately the door was still locked...BUT I could see the girl behind the counter on her cell phone....sooooo...being the kind considerate person that I like to believe I am....I knocked on the door...and continued to knock until I annoyed her enough to come open the door and assist me!  She seemed a bit annoyed at my persistance so I informed her of her time error...and said she might want to think about a new watch. (I had had a rough day at that point and she bought hit my last nerve...but I tried to stay as polite as possible while she basically drilled holes through my head with her eyes.)

    Some people can be SOOOOO rude! I have to admit though...I have often come across companies (big and small) that I wonder how they keep customers at all with the way they disregard them. A large cable company and a large cell phone company are INFAMOUS for their disregard for customer satisfaction. Odd behavior I tell ya! It always makes me think of one of my favorite business books of ALL time, "Raving Fans".

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    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 9, 2007 5:05 AM EST

    Rich/and others,

    I think this is a good topic to discuss the idea of customer service and customer satisfaction. I know as a consumer I rely heavily on how I am treated when a problem arises. My day to day interactions with a company might not be perfect...but rarely do I judge a company based on those general interactions...but when a problem arises...I want to be their ONLY customer...or at least treated like I am. I want someone to bend over backwards to make sure that when all is said and done I don`t question my judgement in staying a customer...or that I am not quickly looking for a replacement company to fill that need so I don`t have to go back! I have already dumped two large companies, one cable company and one cell phone company due to absolutely horrible customer service and complete disregard for my satisfaction...not only that...I frequently talk to others about my experiences which ultimately influences their decisions to use those companies. Word of mouth is a STRONG advertiser...and it can destroy a small business. Unfortunately, my one experience most likely won`t destroy the two behemoths that wronged me...but if they were smaller companies...my word of mouth could have destroyed them.

    What are some of the things that people do to ensure customers/clients are returning...and raving about your service!?

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    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 13, 2007 11:19 AM EST
    I am with you Craig...marketing "tactics" and "hype" really just make me boil ...it is like Car dealerships who insist that it isn`t about the ticket price..it is about how much you can afford per month, so they don`t list the price of the car. I am sorry...but you will never find me buying something without knowing the price first. You wanna negotiate that price...that`s fine...but I gotta know what it is first. I don`t like being tricked or manipulated...and frankly...if that is the reason behind not putting the time...to me...that is manipulation...and it does definitely make me mad.

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    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 15, 2007 9:26 AM EST

    I don`t mean to say that people shouldn`t be allowed to get away from the business or office for what they need to do...but in the same sense...they have a responsibility to their customers or potential customers. When I was in sales I would always change my voicemail message on my phone when I left the office...and I would have to put a specific time I would be back so people knew when they could call me again if they chose not to leave a message. You actually make my point for me...if you put that you will be back in an hour and state when that hour is expected to end...it allows me the luxury of running some other errands...otherwise I feel kind of trapped...I don`t know if you will be back in a minute...two 20. I personally think it is just respectful to your customers and shows a respect for their time as well if you give them a time you can be expected back. Otherwise...what`s to say you can`t put on there "Back in 2 months." and head of for Tahiti. How am I to know when 2 months started...when 2 months ends...when I can expect your business to be back running again!? I realize that is extreme...but if you are going to put..."Back in 2 months (March 25, 2007)" why wouldn`t you put "Back in 20 minutes (1:30)"...or better still..."Back around 1:30".

    See...by putting AROUND 1:30 that leaves a few minutes window incase you don`t happen to make it EXACTLY at 1:30. But it also gives me an idea of when to expect you...and when I can expect to be helped...or whether or not I have time to run into the place next door before you get back...or maybe down the street to my next errand and hit your place on my way back out! 

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    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 17, 2007 12:37 PM EST

    Actually...I think that all depends on your location. For instance...in my town and a few of the towns around us...that would be completely acceptable. Again though...I would urge ANYONE who uses a sign to say they have gone anywhere to at least put a time that their clients/customers can expect them back...or at the very least a rough estimate. Although I live in a very small town that really wouldn`t mind that sign...I am originally from a big city...and there are just some things I have come to expect...like being able to get the things done that I need to get done...and for store owners or service providers to be respectful and responsible towards their clients/customers.

    I think if you are going to own a business...you need to OWN it. There needs to be balance in life and business (gone fishing is completely acceptable balance)...but you have to be responsible enough for your business sake...your name sake...to tell your customers when they can expect to see you again.

    Just my humble opinion though!

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    Leah Tucker

    • 165 posts
    January 18, 2007 7:28 AM EST

    Question for you Vonage sufferers...do you use Comcast with your Vonage!?

    The reason I ask is because I had a friend back in Virginia who had Comcast and Vonage and had more issues than I can shake a stick at...at one point she was on the phone with a Comcast customer service rep who informed her that Comcast had lowered its bandwidth to deter Vonage customers from using Vonage so they would decide to switch to either Comcast...or a landline. Evidently, Vonage ties up too much bandwidth on Comcast networks or something like that and they were trying to clean that up and clean up the lost business.

    This is a story from a friend...so take it with a grain of salt...not to mention...this happened back when Vonage was still new...supposedly! Although...I have to admit...I haven`t heard ANYTHING good come from people who use Vonage and Comcast together (although I personally dispise Comcast due to their lack of customer service...so I might be bias and possibly only can hear the bad stuff).

    Just a thought!

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    Leah Tucker

    • 3 posts
    January 18, 2007 6:57 AM EST

    I`d like to be a contrarian.
    I like the "Back in Twenty Minutes" idea.
    In fact, we could  print up a bunch of "Back in Twnety Minutes" and post them on all your competitors` doors.
    See you guys see the dog half smelly, I smell lemonade.
    I may be confusing my euphemisms.

    A dog washing business? I need to run down the list of "reasons why I live where I do" again.
    My wife and I saw an advertisement for a dog grooming business in our area... and they were open a total of three hours a week.


     

    • 335 posts
    January 7, 2007 2:39 PM EST
    Today, my wife and I ran the dogs in a nearby park. it`s been raining here in Michigan for, uh, well, since november. And it`s been crazy warm like the rest of the eastern part of the country, so a nice layer of mud has taken over where grass once grew.

    The dogs ran their hearts out. Had a blast.

    In anticipation of their transformation from citified Golden Retriever and Yellow Lab to "Chocolate Swamp Hounds," we had the jeep at the ready and immediately loaded them in for a drive to the dog wash place - a franchise store for bathing your dog.

    We pulled up to the front of the dog wash at the strip mall where it`s located and noticed a scribled sign on the door:

    "Back in 20 Minutes" 

    There we were. The two Chocolate Swamp Hounds were steaming up the windows of the Jeep. A smell something like that of fish washed up on a beach was starting to seep into our fleece jackets.

    We waited for a few minutes not saying much. And then I made the first comment...

    "Twenty minutes from when?" I said it very quietly, just above my breath.

    "Exactly!" said my wife. Loudly.

    I made a proposal. "Let`s go get a Starbucks and come back. By then they`ll be open again probably." And off we went.

    When we returned about 15 minutes later things didn`t look much different. The sign was still there. The same few cars were in the parking lot.

    "Maybe we should call the phone number on the window," my wife said, in problem solving mode.

    "Good idea" I responded. It`s part of why I married her.

    I dialed. A woman answered "Hello."

    "Hi! We`re waiting out in front of your store. We were just wondering when the 20 minutes started...." I said it sarcastically, trying to make it clear that her sign didn`t have all the information a customer might expect, like, when did the 20 minutes start and more importantly, when did it end?!

    "Oh, sorry. I thought my sister would be back by now. I`m, uh, actually, I`m at the nail salon next door. Getting my nail nails done. Should be finished in about 10 minutes."

    She didn`t sound like she really cared if we stuck around. Maybe she had caught a glimpse of us through the front glass of Lee`s Nails. Maybe she could see that we were starting to gag from the odor of our dogs and she KNEW we would wait.

    So, we waited. After a few more minutes, we stepped out of the Jeep to get some oxygen. It was spitting rain. Then my wife made an abrupt announcement.

    "I`m going in," she said.

    "The door`s locked, I already tried it," I reminded her.

    "No, I`m going into Lee`s Nails." And with that, she turned, Starbucks in hand, and moved assertively into the nail salon. A minute later, she came out the door, jingling keys in her hand, smiling.

    "Get the doggies. I got the keys to the place," she said. And then she added, "this person should clearly not be running a store - she`s letting us in there unattended so she can finish her nails."

    Well, the store owner eventually came back into the dog wash store to watch over our shoulder as we scrubbed down the doggies - and all was good. She was actually helpful from that point on.

    But, I wanted to share with you this experience. And just in case it`s not obvious, if you ever have to leave the store for something important... like a manicure ...  just remember to post the actual time you`re returning and also, no matter how zealous, don`t let a customer have the keys to your store unattended.

    Rich

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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 8, 2007 3:26 AM EST
    Who has a "Back in 20 Minutes" story to share?

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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 17, 2007 5:37 AM EST
    how do we all feel about,

    "gone fishing"


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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 18, 2007 6:55 AM EST
    classsssic!

    (btw, as a vonage user at home, i had similar problem with people not being able to hear me talk. i think it has to do with the bandwidth not allowing for full duplex sound (sound going both ways at the same volume at the same time. it`s particularly frustrating if you like interrupting people (like i do) and can`t!).

    (let me know how the new service works out when you FINALLY get it live!)

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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 18, 2007 7:11 AM EST
    building on your idea, sway, how about a "back in a coupla days" sign? that would really deter people from approaching your competitors...

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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 335 posts
    January 18, 2007 9:26 AM EST
    judging by your profile, scott, "back in 20 minutes" just wouldn`t work in your line of work... if you`re not "back after this quick break", you`d lose ALL your customers! thanks for the post.

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    Rich Sloan , Co-Founder, Chief Startupologist, StartupNation

    • 1 posts
    January 18, 2007 8:44 AM EST
    Who has a "Back in 20 Minutes" story to share?


    I worked for one of those companies and they are no longer in business.  I am not sure if they were comfortable or cocky about being able to just go do whatever they wanted to do and hang one of those signs up.

    Perhaps they view the American Dream as being able to own a business where you can put up a back in 20 minutes sign and go get your nails done.  OR do they feel comfortable, meaning that they have enough business that if you drive away they`ll be ok?

    -Scott

    • 44 posts
    January 11, 2007 7:51 PM EST

    When visiting my niece who owns Razorsharp Cutlery, a knife shop in San Francisco, I was perplexed when she hung a sign on the door saying, `Back in an hour` when we went to lunch.   I asked if she didn`t want to put down the time we left but she said no because if customers believe she`ll be back promptly at, say 2PM, & she`s late, they`re mad.  But when the sign says `Back in an hour`, they never know when the hour began so they`re never mad.   She`s great with her customers so it obviously works for her.

    Cookie                                                                                                 www.wedgie.biz 

    Cookie2007-1-12 1:58:26
    • 44 posts
    January 14, 2007 5:53 AM EST

    Yikes, Craig & Leah, I don`t think not putting down a time is meant to manipulate.  It`s just meant to be able to get away to make a delivery or have lunch without getting grief when returning.  As my husband pointed out, when a sign says `Back in 10 minutes` or `Back in 20 minutes` people are more apt to just wait.  When it says `Back in an hour` most people would go off & run other errrands since the hour might have just begun.

    On the issue of items not having prices on them, I wholly agree.  Some things are dismissed out of hand when I see the price so I don`t want to waste time having to track down a salesperson to check on a price.  And on big-ticket items without a price?  Too much room for hanky-pank.  Different prices for different folks....

    Cookie                                                                                                                      

    www.wedgie.biz

    • 44 posts
    January 15, 2007 11:14 AM EST

    You`re right, Leah, `Back around....` is probably a better alternative so that the customer can plan her/his time.   I`ll pass the idea on to my niece.  Thanks.

    Cookie

    www.wedgie.biz

    • 44 posts
    January 17, 2007 6:31 AM EST

    Funny, Rich, but I think that won`t fly!  It`s right up there with `Off to Tahiti`....

    Cookie

    www.wedgie.biz