Guys, I am exhausted. We just got back from the mountains of Tennessee with my wife’s family. We had a good time, but anyone who has a small child knows how much fun 6.5 hours in a car can be. That was EACH WAY! Woo. Anyway, since I am barely functioning, but still want to share a little story with you. This is not much about money, but it really has to do with customer service. I am a stickler for good customer service. I really find it hard to come by these days. Not as many companies care about customer service as they used to. Time Warner Cable anyone? This is a quick story of two companies with very different ways for treating their customers.
We were in the mountains of Tennessee for four days. We rented a lake house and had a little (big) family get together, which we do every year. We have some good times for sure. A lot of awesome food and some adult beverages. Either way, this time we had a house with direct access to the lake. It came with a nice little dock. Since we were there to have fun, we wanted to rent a boat to travel the lake for a few days. We originally called two companies before we even got there. One didn’t answer the phone and the other gave us a boat for Saturday. Since we had that initial registration, we went there. It also didn’t hurt that it was only 15 minutes from our house and the other was nearly an hour.
Customer Service Experience #1
The first marina we went to was called Springs. It was a small and old marina, but they had an available boat. The original boat we put on hold ended up not being what we wanted. We also came a day early since the weather was nice and people got there early than we thought. We got to the marina and went in to ask them about renting the boat for that day and keep it overnight for our original hold date. Unfortunately, they didn’t have just a regular pontoon boat for us on Saturday. We could only rent one for Friday and would have to bring it back by 5:00 that day. It was 11:30 when we went in to ask about the boat. That is really not much time.
We started asking the person behind the counter, but she really didn’t care about helping us. We wanted to know if we could be put on a list, so if someone cancels, we can just keep the boat overnight. They didn’t have a list and didn’t want to put us on one. They were very rude. Their boats were not in good condition, but their prices were good. Low and behold, we rented the pontoon for Friday and rode the crap out of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time to fit as many trips as we wanted.
Customer Service Experience #2
While we had the first boat, we realized the marina we called with no answer was right across the lake from us. It was a 10 minute boat ride, but a hours drive. Since we wanted to get another pontoon and the first company didn’t have one available, nor were they nice, we took the boat to the other marina.
It was like freaking night and day. They came out to the dock and helped us get hooked up. They were very nice (thanks Tyler!) and respectful. We told them of our issue and they bent over backwards to help us. Let me tell you how.
Since we were taking our boat back to the first marina, we would have to drive back the next morning to get the rental at marina #2. So, instead of making us do that, they worked out a deal with us where they would come pick us up after that night at our house. We would boat back to their marina and sign the paperwork and then we could take back the boat the next night at around 8pm. We would essentially get 24 hours with the boat.
On top of that, we were able to talk them into letting us keep the boat until 7:30 Sunday morning and they would bring us back to the house after we dropped it off. No extra charges and no real issues with the setup.
They were awesome. The marina was called Shanghai Resort & Marina and if you are ever at Lake Norris in Tennessee, then only use them. I will always give my business to them whenever I am near there.
I only share this experience because I really love good customer service. We tipped the gentleman who drove the boat out to us Friday night. I don’t tip much for stuff like that, but he went above and beyond, which is when a tip is more than warranted. Their marina were very kind and did what they could to accommodate our requests. I was very happy with their work ethic and how they treat their customers. I love companies like this and I do what I can to support them.
Have you had a recent good customer service experience? Let me hear about it!