Posted by: Marty Fahncke | February 13, 2007

Customer service winners and losers

Customer service is a HUGE issue for me. 

In all of my consulting, coaching, training, and project management, I always push myself and my clients to treat customers with the highest level of service.   As a regular feature on my blog, I’ll be spotlighting businesses I feel offer superior and inferior customer service…  


Mimi’s Café Overland Park, KS.  I’ve never been to any Mimi’s that I didn’t get great service, but here is the above and beyond reason they won this week… 

I took two of my kids to lunch there this past weekend, one of which was my 1 ½ year old, who was hungry and fussy when we got there.  IMMEDIATELY upon sitting down, the waitress offered crackers, a handful of Cheerios, and something to drink for him.  That’s a waitress who knows how to take care of a customer!  

Later, the sandwich I ordered was not exactly right (I ordered blackened, but it came plain grilled).  The waitress took it right away, and the manager came back with the right sandwich, and told me because of the mix-up, it was “on the house”.   

Lessons learned: 

#1 Superior customer services means you anticipate and address your customers’ needs BEFORE they have to ask. 

#2  Attitude flows from the top down.  A manager who “gets it” will have employees to “get it” 


Embarq – This phone company (formerly Sprint) is my telephone and DSL provider.  Unfortunately, I live out in the country, so I don’t have a lot of options.  I can’t get cable internet, and I’ve heard too many horror stories about satellite internet access.  Here is why Embarq loses this week:  When I first had Embarq installed, I counted 9 out of 14 days where I had either no service, or only partial service for the day.   Since that time, I average one outage per week of at least several hours.  (I wrote this post in Word, and had to wait 18 hours for my service to be back up again so I could post it) 

When I call, they always say the same thing.  “We’ve had an outage, and we’re working on fixing it.  We’ll call you when it’s fixed”.  I’ve had this excuse from them over a dozen times now, and two things I’ve noticed: 

#1  They NEVER call to tell me it’s working again.  Not once.  I just have to keep checking to see when it’s up again.  It’s bad enough they have terrible service, but to lie to me every time I call is absurd. 

#2  They NEVER apologize.  Again, not once.  I just got off the phone with them, and I was careful to pay attention to whether they apologize for their terrible service.  They didn’t, and they haven’t.   Ok, so now it’s bad enough they have terrible service, it’s even worse that they lie about calling me, but the final straw is they never apologize for their terrible service! 

If you have a choice of service providers for your phone or internet, RUN AWAY from Embarq as fast as you can! 

Lesson Learned:  Customers will forgive occasional glitches with quality or service, but if you lie and/or don’t even say you are sorry, you don’t deserve their forgiveness.  Or their business. 



  1. I love this blog about customer service. This is so true.

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