Examples of incredible customer service

While traveling in England recently we experienced some great customer service that I wanted to share with you here.  Hopefully these, along with the examples from last week, will give you some inspiration for your own business!

Carillon – In Loughborough, where my husband is from, there is a famous Carillon bell tower, which serves as a memorial to fallen soldiers in the two World Wars.  The Carillon Image result for loughborough carillonalso serves as a museum with artifacts from the war.  When we visited this historic location, the gentlemen who volunteer at the museum went out of their way to share as much as possible about the monument with us. They were very passionate and one suggested that we visit the local Charnwood Museum where he also worked. He was extremely passionate about his job and clearly had a love for the history of the building that he was working in.

Plane ride – The flight attendant assigned to our area immediately made a connection with our son who shares a name with her. She took a shine to our two boys and sporadically entertained them throughout our eight-hour Trans-Atlantic flight. Not only did this make our two sons happy, it made the flight much more enjoyable for the two of us, and also put a smile on all of the passengers around us who could clearly see that this young lady was in the right business as she was clearly a people person and was focused on making people happy.

Train to Exeter – we took a train into Exeter during one leg of our trip and the conductor went out of his way to find the best value ticket available for the trip that we were making. This gentleman could easily have just given us the tickets that we had asked for Image result for train to exeter from londonbut instead he chose to find the best value solution for us given the routes that we wanted to take.

Plane on way back –  Ross, our flight attendant on the way back was just as wonderful as the one on the way there.  The lady in front of us had a dietary requirement that had been missed when she booked her ticket through her travel agent. Ross could easily have said tough luck and that he couldn’t do anything. However, instead of taking the easy option, he managed to create a meal for her from leftover meals. He then took things one step further and collected the passenger’s information so that he could pass it onto his colleagues and make sure that she receives the correct meal on her return flight.  He also ensured that we were able to get an open row for my husband and one of the boys, which made the flight much more enjoyable than if the four of us were crammed in one row!

The theme of all of these experiences is clear: it’s important to go above and beyond when you are in a customer service position.  It does not go unnoticed and it creates customers for life!



Customer Service – The bane of everyone

Writer’s note: To fully understand this post you may have to live in the US, the land of extremely high drug prices and zero customer service. Proceed at your own risk. I was alive back when there was real customer service. Department stores had staff in every department to help you find anything. They called […]

via Customer service – the bane of everyone! — Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

When it comes to customer service, these guys are winning.


Consolidated Communications – Our local cable company here in Overland Park, Kansas. These guys provide incredible customer service, are very receptive to feedback, have lightning fast response times, and deliver a very high quality product. Also, theyImage result for cable television have great promotions for new and existing customers, and go above and beyond to make your experience as positive as possible. This is especially nice as this is an industry in which I have experienced some very poor companies over the years, and am so happy to be with Consolidated.

ADP – We started using ADP to run our small business monthly payroll back in April 2010 and have been very impressed with them ever since. The customer service and portal are incredible, but the thing that I really appreciate is that they were able to customize a program to meet the needs of our small corporation. They are a huge organization, but they treat me uniquely, and go out of their way to make sure that we are taken care of and not boxed into using something that doesn’t meet our needs.

Sprint – These are one of the biggest employers in our community, and I have many friends that work there. Supporting a local company definitely plays a part in my decision, but the most important items are the exceptional customer service, great coverage which is constantly improving, and flexibility with services and pricing to meet my family’s needs. There is the ability to own or lease phones, great programs such as I-Phones for life, and they are constantly releasing new concepts.

Amazon  I am always amazed that a company of this size, with such a large number of employees, manages to offer amazing customer service each and every time I need it.  When something goes wrong with an order (which is rare), they always take care of the issue and go above and beyond to make it right, even if it was not their fault.

Southwest Airlines – Very few changes to flights means more convenience for travelers, lots of direct flights, great rewards program with Rapid Rewards, bags travel for free, Transfarency with no hidden costs, but most importantly is the company culture and the incredible employees who make flying with SWA such an enjoyable experience. Personally, I really appreciate the transparency with things and the flexibility that they provide to their passengers. Last month, I had a flight booked with SWA but when I went online I was able to find the flight at a lower cost. There was no charge to cancel and rebook, and the refund hit my account within 24 hours. These guys put the customer  first in every decision that they make.

My Doctor – This obviously is a huge decision in everyone’s life. I am so lucky to have such an incredible medical professional who listens and treats me as an individual, takes the time to make sure that my needs have been met, displays an incredible knowledge of her content, and shows genuine interest, rather than just doing what a textbook tells her to. She is extremely compassionate and has a great bedside manner which makes me feel very comfortable when visiting her.  I occasionally have to wait a little longer than expected, but I know this is because she is giving all of her attention to the patient she is with, and I can expect the same when I am in her office.

State Farm – my family do a lot of business with State Farm including auto insurance, home insurance, personal property, life insurance, 529 college savings funds, andstate-farm-logo personal retirement accounts. We have been with the same insurance agent for the past 4 years as he is reliable, honest, trustworthy, knowledgeable, dependable and always there when we need him. However, the thing that sold us on the front end was the fact that instead of just throwing a policy at us to make a quick buck, he took the time to get to know us, asked questions about our dreams and aspirations, and customized a program that would meet our needs and allow us to achieve our financial and personal goals.

Real estate agent – We found our Realtor by chance as we visited an open house, but her low pressure approach, knowledge, and outgoing personality made it an easy decision for us. She was able to get asking price for our place as well as negotiating on our behalf for our new home. She was always there for us during the process, which was especially helpful for myself, as I was the primary decision maker. The thing that has really impressed us with Megan is that she was not just after the sale, but was, and is still keen to develop a long lasting relationship.  Almost 3 years after purchasing our home, we still receive a newsletter and fun gift frequently, and now socialize with Megan and her family when our schedules allow!

Cantina Laredo – My husband and I stumbled across this little slice of heaven while in Branson, MO, celebrating my birthday. After quickly reading some online reviews, I Image result for cantina laredo branson modecided that this would be perfect venue for our family to celebrate this special day. From the moment we walked in we were taken care of by every member of the team. Eli, our sever, was spectacular. His knowledge and tenacity, combined with his outgoing personality and sense of humor created the perfect atmosphere for this occasion. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the area and hungry for some excellent Mexican cuisine!

Go through each of the qualities listed above and see how many of them you and your company are currently doing, you might surprise yourself! Qualities such as being knowledgeable, diligent, trustworthy, honest, and understanding have allowed Royal Services to evolve into one of the nation’s leading facility maintenance companies, and we hope that these ideas will help you take your company to the next level.

Make sure you and your team are not only attracting new customers, but also retaining those that you already have. New customer acquisition is much more expensive and much less enjoyable than taking care of your existing clients.


Remember Who You Are — Millionaire’s Digest

Some really amazing ideas discussed here all centered on The Lion King and the Circle of Life. What more could you ask for?! Thank you Aui!

sisir ghosh search for value to enlighten life

I guess the young kiddos reading this article still recall this scene from The Lion King Movie when Rafiki told Simba that his father was still alive and later show him where he was. Here is how their conversation goes:

via Remember Who You Are — Millionaire’s Digest

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Key differences between the UK and the USA

After spending the past 2 weeks in England with my husband’s family, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting differences I noticed between the two countries. This last trip was my 6th visit to the UK, however each trip reminds me of how different our countries can be.

History – it goes without saying that the UK has a significantly richer history than the US. stonehenge_englandFor example, the high school that my husband attended was founded back in 1495 and a church that we visited was built in 669! We have some fantastic history here in the US, but the UK has simply been around longer, so inevitably their history is going to include a lot more than ours.

Driving – Whenever we visit my in-laws we always rent a car so that we have the freedom to travel whenever we want. As per usual, we got to Manchester airport after THREE flights and picked up a rental car. We received a Ford Focus Estate which thankfully was much more spacious than those we have had in previous years. Cars are much smaller over there, due to lack of space, so this car was quite a luxury for us!  Once the car is loaded, my husband then has the task of driving a manual car on the other side of the road.  This always makes me a bit nervous at the beginning, but he picks it up right away and manages to only stall it a few times per trip.

Drivers are very courteous over there, and I did notice far less honking than what we experience in America.  Additionally, their driving laws are much more strict, so I did not see one person using their cell phone while driving.

Tea vs. Coffee – The stereotype is that Brits drink tea and Americans drink coffee (or iced tea). However, these trends are starting to change with coffee becoming more and more prominent in the UK, and English teas being available at most national grocery stores across the country. Capital Teas, who are based in Annapolis, Maryland, have taken things one step further and now have stores where not only can you buy teas and associated utensils, but you can also sample a variety of brews before making your purchase. On the coffee front in the UK, Costa Coffee are the leaders and you literally see their cafes everywhere!

Recycling – The recycling policies in place in the UK are extremely rigid and have been environment-1019748_960_720for many years. Residents can be fined if their regular waste is found to contain items that could have been recycled, and they literally recycle everything. There are even drop-off points at the supermarket where you can recycle mobile phones, batteries, print cartridges, and light bulbs!

Dining out – In England, most eateries pay their servers a good wage which means that tipping is usually reserved for examples of exceptional service. The issue that I have seen with this is that because the servers are not necessarily dependent upon their tips and make enough money through their hourly pay, there isn’t as much urgency to provide exceptional service. Nor is there competition over who gets which tables. We visited a handful of establishments where the service was lacking, and there was no real ownership of our table taken by the staff that were serving us. At one restaurant we actually experienced 6 different people from arrival to paying our bill!

Public transportation – England obviously has the huge advantage that most of the country is heavily concentrated in core urban and suburban areas. There are excellent public transportation options in most areas including buses, trains, boats, and of course the world renowned London Underground. This makes things much more enjoyable when visiting larger towns and cities as you can easily avoid traffic delays and congestion. It also means that you eliminate the need to find a parking spot which is extremely challenging due to the narrow streets and limited space that is found in English cities.

Money/ Currency – After the Brexit announcement, the British pound took a hammering and the exchange rate dropped to 1 dollar: 0.78 British Pounds which is significantly weaker than back in 2004 when my husband first moved to the states and the exchange rate was 1 dollar: 0.50 pounds.  Many items are less expensive over there, so when the exchange rate is at this level, it is great for us when we travel!

While we have pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to keep track of, in England they are responsible for coins consisting of one pence (p), 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, 1 pound and 2 pounds.  So many coins jangling in our pockets!

Sports – Hands down, the most popular sport in the UK is football (soccer to us). Other common favorites include rugby, cricket, and netball.  American football is gaining in popularity, as the English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur just signed a contract with the NFL to host one game a year in England.

Biscuits and Gravy – This meal means something completely different in England compared to it’s equivalent in the USA. If you were to go to an English restaurant and ask for “Biscuits and Gravy” they would think you were mad as you would effectively be asking for cookies and brown gravy!  Other areas of confusion (especially for our preschooler) were English crisps, which are American chips, and English chips, which are American fries.

As a side note, I always find it interesting that these people who are so proper look at me in utter confusion when I ask for the “restroom” and I am forced to say “where is the toilet” in order to make myself clear.  I don’t know why, I just find that so crude and hate saying it!

The weather – When we landed in the UK they were experiencing a “heatwave” with temperatures of 82 degrees! To be fair this is much warmer than the average 66 degrees that they normally receive, but this is about 20% cooler than the temperatures we are currently experiencing here in Kansas City. With Britain being an island they are somewhat insulated by the surrounding bodies of water making the temperature fluctuations much less extreme than are typically found across the continental USA.  However, because of their typically cooler summers no one has central air, so 82 degrees does feel extremely hot when you can’t cool off in your home!

Shopping – one of the things that my husband always gives me grief about is that here in the US, we do not add on tax until you are checking out. This means that items on the dollar menu at McDonalds do not actually cost $1, but typically cost $1.05 to $1.15 depending on rates in your part of the country. However, at McDonalds in England all of the items on the pound menu, do truly cost a pound as tax is included in the price that you see, and the tax is then broken out on your receipt.  This makes shopping so much easier when you know you are paying exactly what is on the ticket.


Overall, our two nations have much in common and it is very simple to acclimate yourself to the different culture.  While there are a few confusing words, it is easy to know what people are talking about and to make yourself clear as well.  Driving is probably the most difficult thing to get used to, but once you’ve done it a few times it feels just as natural as it does over here.  If you’re planning a trip soon, make sure to pack plenty of jackets no matter what time of year!


Sharing: The Gnomist from Great Big Story —

I found this wonderful video a few weekends ago, and I have not been able to stop smiling about it. In Overland Park, KS, someone was creating little Gnome homes in a park, to the delight of all who visited. Watch, if you are so inclined, and be enchanted…

via Sharing: The Gnomist from Great Big Story —


Pros and Cons of heightened technology

As technology has evolved over time, many businesses have sought to increase their profitability by automating many of their processes. In some areas, this has been hugely successful, leading to a greater experience for all involved. However, in others, the shift has not been well received and has caused businesses to shrink. The loss of a personal touch, the inability to speak to someone who can empathize with you, and the time spent crawling through a call tree can all be extremely frustrating.

A phone call earlier today prompted me to write this as my blood pressure was at an all time high after spending what seemed like 3 hours being passed around a directory and the magic pushing of 0 did nothing 😦

Today I am going to look at areas that have improved due to increased technology, and others that have gone in the opposite direction.


Cashiers – automation has made lines move much more quickly, and the self-checkout self checkout.jpghas made purchasing items so much more convenient!

Retail – A blend of online shopping and the in-store experience seems to be the best way to go. This is exactly what we are looking for with our approach at Royal Services.

ATM – tellers can now focus on bigger items such as loans, home equity lines etc.

Surgery – robotics has made things happen that we never thought possible in the medical world.

Manufacturing and machinery 

Telephone book and yellow pages – I can’t even remember the last time I looked through a phone book, and am so thankful for the simplicity of looking up phone numbers online.

Maps and Google Maps – remember when you would print out directions?  Unfortunately, the printouts cannot take into consideration traffic issues and give you alternate routes!

Skype/ communication with loved ones – without Skype, my children may not know their grandparents in England at all.  Phone calls are great, but the face-to-face capabilities have made such a difference.

Financial tracking – budgeting tools are imperative for those who need help tracking their finances.

Steps back

Service providers – the frustration is endless when you are attempting to get a hold of a service provider and only get recordings.  It would be much more useful for the consumer to be able to speak to a real person.
Insurance providers – I’m sure many people have had fine experiences with insurance that they purchase online without contact with a person.  However, there is a reason Progressive set up brick and mortar stores – people need that human contact!  Especially with purchases as big and important as insurance.

WebMD and other online medical sites – while these do come in handy some of the time, I am the worst at hopping online when I see a little bump or bruise that looks funny and ending up with my head between my legs, hyperventilating and convinced I’m going to die within the next 30 minutes.  I cannot imagine the frustration doctors experience when people enter their offices acting as if they know more than the person who attended 12 years of schooling, just because they read something online.  Unfortunately these sites that are meant to help ease worries often tend to exacerbate them!

Social media – such a great way to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, but facebook-gymunfortunately they have their drawbacks as well.  As a mother, I try to stay off of facebook as much as possible to prevent feelings of inadequacy and failure.  While I am fully aware that the humble bragging I see on a daily basis is not painting the true picture of motherhood, I can’t help but feel I’m doing something wrong when I look at these seemingly perfect families!  There are also major problems with bullying and harassment, leading to horrible consequences.  PSA to please monitor your child’s Facebook page!!!

Online loan applications – again, this is a big deal and one that some people will feel more comfortable completing with a real person.  Not to mention, once you fill one out you are inundated with sales calls and emails for months!

Time wasted – you might just need to hop on real quick to check the weather, but you notice a new email which includes a link to a video with a cat on a skateboard, which in turn leads to many more hours of wasted time watching silly YouTube videos.

Driving dangers – some people are so addicted to technology that they are willing to put their lives and the lives of others in danger just to send a quick text or check email.

Scary stats about texting and driving

In most situations the best outcomes are experienced when there is a combination of technology and human to human interaction.  Some people see technology as a complete solution, whereas I see it as a tool that gives people the ability to spend more time on what really matters and where they can have more of an impact. What are your thoughts? Are you a fan of technology and look for the minimal human interaction or are you more traditional and appreciate the connection that you can have with a real person? I am interested to hear your thoughts so please share them in the comment box below.