Do You “Go The Extra Mile” For Others?

by Kylie Doak on November 2, 2009

As far as I’m concerned, one of the best attributes of a person who provides great customer service is their willingness to “go the extra mile” for someone.

Monday 2 November 2009 8:00 pm

(soapbox time …  :) )

Whatever happened to someone using their initiative?

Geez, I’m annoyed! (to say the least).

Today is Monday, and since last Thursday, I have had major trouble with my internet connection.

It keeps dropping in and out which is making things very frustrating for me. I have contacted the service provider and explained the problem, and the first lady I spoke with took me through some common troubleshooting steps to try and resolve the problem.

Unfortunately, the problem was not resolved, and she referred my call to another department for them to contact me. The lady was unable to give me a day, date or time that I would be contacted (which I do understand), however, she gave me the impression that I would be contacted in the next day or so … I’ve been waiting for someone to call me since then!

Growing more and more impatient at not having a connection, I contacted my service provider again on Friday to be told (by someone else) that a technician would be coming to my house on Tuesday and that they would be ringing me on Monday to organise a time that would be suitable for me. Yeah, right!

I queried this man as to whether this really would happen and he assured me that someone would definitely be coming to my house to fix the problem. To be totally honest, I didn’t believe that for a moment.

I know that sounds harsh, however, late last year I was without an internet connection for nearly 7 weeks, and it took countless phone calls every day to the service provider, speaking to countless different people, who literally all told me something different from one another (I still have the copious amount of notes that I made at the time to back this up), and then only after I contacted the Ombudsman’s Office, did the service provider very reluctantly send someone to my house!

That, plus the fact that Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day here in Victoria, Australia and it’s a public holiday for most people :)

As I’m sure you can see, I have very good reason to not believe this man that someone would come to my house at this point in time.

So, from Thursday when I made that first phone call through to early Saturday night, I was without the internet at all. Early on Saturday night after resetting my modem for the umpteenth time, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the connection remained for longer than a few minutes!

It stayed this way for the next few hours and I thought that the problem had been fixed.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case at all, and since late afternoon on Sunday, I’ve had very intermittent service again.

This afternoon (Monday), I rang the service provider because I hadn’t heard from anyone (not that I really expected to though) and you’ll never guess what they told me …

Someone had rung on Saturday morning, only it happened that they’d rung the wrong number (this was noted on their file).

@#!!!**?%$#@!!!! (this was my head exploding with utter disgust, frustration and disbelief at the situation).

Why on earth didn’t that person bother to find the CORRECT number and ring that?! After all, they have access to my contact details … !! (my internet and phone accounts are combined).

And to think that I nearly rang them on Saturday night (thinking the problem was fixed) to tell them not to worry about contacting me because I felt that it was the right thing to do by them! How ironic …

So here I sit …

  • totally frustrated that I cannot be on a webinar tonight that I would like to be on;
  • utterly appalled that the person who rang didn’t make the effort to find the right number;
  • annoyed in general that there are so many people out there who really don’t take the initiative to provide excellent customer service when it’s not that hard to do;
  • waiting for someone to ring me on the correct number (which I’ve provided to two people since the “head exploding” phone call earlier); and
  • … without any internet connection :(

Maybe I’m part of a dying breed of people who simply love to help others and DO go the extra mile to do so.

Maybe I’m being unrealistic and this person may have had better things to do with their time (I know I did! :) ).

Maybe, like or lump it, I’ve become addicted to the internet and just “can’t live without it”.

… possibly all of the above – hehe.

I am doing my best to not be frustrated about the situation. Afterall, it’s out of my control, so it’s a big waste of my energy being upset about it.

I’m venting my frustration by blogging about it, although you are only able to read this because the problem has been resolved (hopefully permanently, possibly only temporarily) :)

Have you had a similar experience to this regarding people ringing you back (or not, as the case may be)?

I am interested in hearing your thoughts about what you would have done in this situation if you were the one making the phone call to me. Would you have:

A: Decided that the attempt to contact me, despite ringing the wrong number, was good enough, or;

B: Used some initiative and reasoned that I would not have left a wrong number (I’m wanting help so obviously I would have provided the correct contact telephone number) and made the effort to find that telephone number and rung it.

I am interested in finding out what you think about this situation, so please leave me your reply below.

Plus, if you enjoyed this post, please consider tweeting it and telling others about it.


UPDATE -  Monday 2 November 2009 11:00 pm:

A freaky thing happened not long after I finished typing out this blog post …

I was sitting here typing another post for my blog, hoping like mad that my connection would be back in time to attend a webinar that I wanted to be on. I had clicked on the appropriate link to take me to the webinar quite a while earlier, but it wasn’t able to do anything (obviously!).

After considerable time, I thought I’d have a quick look to see whether my connection was back yet or not, and funnily enough, only a few minutes before the webinar started, my connection was back and I was able to be on it for the entire time! (without any disruption to my connection either!).

Was it a coincidence, or not? I really don’t know the answer to that, however, what I do know is that the timing of my connection returning was positively freaky!

I won’t ring my service provider and cancel their call just yet though. I’m very curious to see whether anyone actually does ring me! :)

UPDATE – Monday 16 November 2009 5.00 pm:

Not surprisingly, I have not been contacted by my service provider regarding this particular issue.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly Castleberry January 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Wait a minute… I was under this distinct impression that you lived in Australia….

So how does it happen that you personally know my ISP!?!?

I have chronic issues with mine and because we’re on a low-volume tower, our issues are flagged “low priority”. Ugggh

So infuriating because like you I was raised that you didnt DO that to people… you went without sleep if you had to but you always did RIGHT by someone! My granddad, a business man, would have SKINNED me on the spot if he thought I was mistreating a customer!

I think this is why you are thriving here, why others intuitively know your heart… because its obvious that you serve from your heart. You give value above and beyond what others are used to getting. Thank you for being you!
Kimberly

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Kylie January 31, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Wow, Kimberly! Thanks for the awesome comment! (blushing)

I honestly do love to help and I’m pleased that people can see that (I even missed the bus in primary school one afternoon because I stayed back to help my teacher clean the blackboard – oops! She drove me home about the time that Mum was wondering what on earth had happened to the bus! lol).

Doesn’t it just suck that with all the amazing technology in this world, that they can’t figure out how to have everyone connected to the internet (that want to be) and with a strong, consistent and reliable connection at that?! I hope they do something to improve your situation soon!

Your Granddad sounds like he had his head screwed on the right way :)

PS: And thank you for being you too :)

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Matt Jones February 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Some people can go without water for a day or so and some can go without food for up to a month but if my internet connection goes down for more than an hour i feel like i cant breathe. Its kind of pathetic really but this is our link with the world and when someone takes it away you feel so helpless, quickly followed by frustration and then eventually anger. It looks like you had the whole gamut of emotions with this challenge Kylie :) In life you have to do things differently which means stepping up in any given situation and go the extra mile. The feeling it gives you when you make someone’s day is invaluable. Going the extra mile is a privilege and should be seen as an opportunity to be taken whenever it presents itself

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Kylie February 6, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Hi Matt

Thanks for the comment.

Hehe – yes, I feel “like my throat has been cut” without the internet! I sure did go through a whole range of emotions when I didn’t have a connection for nearly 7 weeks (that was just horrid), but ironically, I really needed a break at that point in time. After 3 weeks of utter frustration, I settled into the realisation that I really couldn’t do anything about it, and I should just stop upsetting myself so much about it and try and enjoy the break.

Mind you, those emotions came flooding back when I thought I was going to have to go through all that again! Luckily it was only for a few days – phew!

It does feel great when you’ve helped someone out and/or made them feel good :)

~ Kylie ~

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Darlene Davis February 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Kylie,

You hit a tender chord in this post. I needed to contact the Franchise Tax Board (that’s California’s) last week. After waiting for an hour they disconnected the call right after answering it. When I DID make the connection they told me the address on file was where I had lived five years ago. The lady then proceeded to argue with me as to what my current address was. Suffice to say that the issue with them still has not been resolved.

With little to no service available in certain areas, it behooves us to change that one person at a time and offer the very best to others. You are a shining example of doing just that.

I appreciate you!

Dar
When life gets REALLY frustrating, I clean house. Needless to say, mine is pretty clean right now!
.-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..That Magic Moment — Your First Online Dollar =-.

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Andrew A. Sailer February 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing.

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Kylie February 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Thanks, Andrew :) I hope you continue to visit my blog and enjoy it.

~ Kylie ~

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Merlin dit Slots June 30, 2010 at 6:05 am

You are a very talented blogger, and I love reading your posts.

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Kylie July 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

Thank you, Merlin.

I appreciate your feedback.

~ Kylie ~

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Mal - Utility Warehouse Member July 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Good blog kylie.
Customer service in a lot of companies sucks and they seem to do the least they can. I look for companies that do go the extra mile and put themselves in my shoes.

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Kylie July 7, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Mal!

Yes, I agree with you that many companies need to improve their customer service.

It’s not nice feeling that you’re an inconvenience to them, which is often how some staff make customers feel. The customer service staff that go above and beyond what is expected of them, are the ones who are doing the company proud.

It’s a shame that the not-so-helpful customer service staff often don’t realise the potential damage they’re doing to not only the business, but to themselves.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Mal. I appreciate it. :)

~ Kylie ~

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Linda G Cox July 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Kylie~
Your true nature coes out in this post You are a kind and gentle person who sets the example of going the extra mile! By your example people will rise! Unfortuately, not quickly enough sometimes! I appreciate all you do!
~Linda

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Linda G. Cox from multiple sclerosis March 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

Hey Kylie! I happened on this post when you commented on my ‘spam’ post…. I remember reading it,then I skimmed it again, now finding my comment, I still feel the same! You truly go the extra mile! You’re the greatest!!

Love you!
Linda

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Kylie Doak March 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi Linda

I’m pleased to hear you still feel the same way. :)

I think you’re wonderful too! xx

~ Kylie ~

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hollyfulfordjef from YourKeywords July 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Going the extra mile for someone. I am sure that I can improve on that. I have run into those that don’t do much for the extra mile, in fact hard pressed to do the minimum!! There will always be those!! Yours sounds like it may be the whole company, with a terrible customer service dept!! Can’t say as I would ever have the patience that you had! Have to say, love the person who does go the extra mile! Some how we have to find the value in it for the person giving the customer service… Why do they do what they do… It sure ain’t lie the old days when you had the same pride for the business as the boss!! Times have changed!!

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Payroll Processing Albany August 28, 2010 at 12:54 am

I really loved this post. You write about this topic very well. I really like your blog and I will definetly bookmark it! Keep up the interesting posts! :)

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Joe from Franchises UK August 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Kylie

I’m another that feels like his arm has been cut off if he has no internet (thank goodness I also have a 3G dongle for emergencies haha!). I think good customer services is sadly going downhill these days… I for one believe in doing all you can to provide good service and if you go the extra mile I think customers remember it and are more likely to remain loyal happy customers (having been on the receiving end I know I do). I think the problem is the larger the company (as is the case for many ISPs) the more staff they have that treat it solely as a job… seems like they do the least necessary to get through the day so they can leave as soon as they see the second hand reach their clocking out time. I’d be interested if anyone else feels that about larger companies…
Joe

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William Cox from golden gate estates fl real estate September 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

Wow. 7 weeks without internet? I can’t imagine how frustrated you were back then. If it were me, I’d be going down there myself and talking to someone in charge and demanding them to fix it. Their service is unbelievably poor. :(

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Kylie Doak September 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

hehe – yep. Frustrated is an understatement, William! I certainly had more than my fair share of tears and upset (including a few swear words!) during that time.

I was ready to go to the media about it, when they ended up sending a fellow out to sort out the problem (even though his boss changed his mind that morning and told him he wasn’t allowed to come here – nearly 4 hours for him to get here! – he told his boss that it wasn’t good enough and that he was coming to fix the problem for me if he could… which he did!).

Now THAT’S awesome customer service, don’t you think? :)

~ Kylie ~

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houston dentist September 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Very exceptional post. Some people can go without water for a day or so and some can go without food for up to a month but if my internet connection goes down for more than an hour i feel like i cant breathe. Its kind of pathetic really but this is our link with the world and when someone takes it away you feel so helpless, quickly followed by frustration and then eventually anger

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