Friday, November 4, 2011

Service With a Smile, Your Smile

There seems to be a trend these days: everything costs more and what you get is less.  OK, I know I’m just another “old guy” who remembers the “good old days”  when things like this were taken for granted: 

Fresh cold milk was delivered to your doorstep. Butter and cottage cheese too.
The gas station attendant not only pumped the gas, but cleaned the windshield, checked the oil and gave you a free map. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, gas was 35 cents per gallon.

Postage stamps were 5 cents, except for air mail: that was 7 cents. Mail never got lost and there was no such thing as “junk mail” to clutter up the mailbox. The mailman was a friend.

People actually used words like “please” and “thank you.” If you gave a gift, you could reasonably expect to receive a handwritten thank you note.

Everyone nowadays seems to be stressed out, in a hurry, and pissed off. That’s why it’s such a shocking experience to encounter old-fashioned service, so extraordinary these days. And that is why I wish to briefly acknowledge the outstanding service I recently received.

Men’s Wearhouse: I bought some good sports coats and dress shirts for work several years ago. The coats get heavy use with all the stuff I carry in my pockets, such as my real estate electronic key, my iPhone, business cards and my wallet. Recently I put my wallet in my coat pocket and it went right down to the bottom corner of my jacket. Something’s wrong with that! I decided to go back to the store with my coat. They said, “if you can wait just five minutes, we’ll have that fixed for you.” Indeed they did. The pocket was sewn back together, my coat was good as new, and there was no charge. Prompt, courteous, efficient service. Kuddos to the Men’s Wearhouse. I will return again and again.

Pastime Hardware:  It’s a crowded and busy place, and easy to see why. They have everything you could ever need or imagine and much more. But so does Home Depot. The difference? Pick a number, just like Baskin-Robbins. Your number will come up quickly and a well-informed employee will escort you to wherever it is in the store you need to go to find the item in question. Sometimes you might not even know what you need to solve a home repair, but never fear, they know the answer! In my case, I have an old swamp cooler up at my country house. The belt which drives the fan was starting to fray. The clerk took the old belt, measured it on a wall device, looked up the number, got a long pole and fetched the replacement belt from high on the wall. A couple of minutes and I was out of there. Kuddos to Pastime Hardware. They’ve got it all, including the best customer service anywhere.

I am a real estate agent at Berkeley Hills Realty. Nothing is more irritating to a buyer or seller than having to wait hours or worse yet, days for a return call. Not with our agents and not with me. I will answer your e-mail or phone call right away. It’s about “old-fashioned” customer service. Courtesy, caring, efficiency and professional expertise are the services we provide. Sometimes it’s good to be “old-fashioned.”

Tom Knight
Broker Associate
vm 510-524.9888 x56

DRE #01441406

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