Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

3 Times A Charm! Think not…… A “Picture” of dissatisfaction!

Team sports are to be an enjoyable part of a student’s life during school. Giving a 100% of participation, full efforts, strength and most of all team work is a common factor for enjoying the sport itself, regardless of what it is.

Watching the games & taking your individual photos to share on Facebook or send via email is a great way to show others you enjoy your little sports member and their amazing abilities to be involved; however getting their team photos is another big step of success in my mind anyways.

You get pumped up, excited about it especially when you receive them! You get a little teary eyed due to the realization that your little one isn’t little anymore but growing up to succeed in a sport he truly enjoys and excels at.  Take the golden flag and run with it as you truly deserve a pat on the back for being a positive image to your child as a parent and pushing them to be excellent at what they do and deserve.

That is not always the case however! For the past 6 years I have dealt with many photographers ranging from School, Sports, Family photos & much more and have always received my photos in a timely fashion with no issues. Maybe this was my time, maybe not.

My son had taken on the participation of joining the football team with a widely known program called Pop Warner through YMCA. AMAZING PROGRAM!  We have no problem with paying the cost for the membership, fuel to travel to other schools & additional safety items to ensure no injuries. I was able to meet some amazing new friends along with catching up with good old friends too. There is no argument with the program that was offered as we had taken up with no blink of an eye.  We simply enjoyed every bit of it.

As a business woman I am a Customer Service Director that range from low profile customers to very high profile customers each and every day. Providing the best of the best customer satisfaction is my goal to keep my clients happy regardless of the situation of my overlook even if it is theirs, I will still accept it as my own & will do anything and everything to make it right. Customer retention is what keeps business’s intact for future success and the longevity of excellence in satisfaction.

Never, ever take your personal intake and email a customer your personal opinion on completing business over $4.00. But first let me get in to details on what happened, what could have happened & what should never happen to a customer resulting from an experience a business could have avoided.

August 20th – Pictures were taken for the team by a well-known photographer. Unfortunately I was unable to be there during that time as I was involved with getting my department set up. My husband was able to participate within the picture process for our son. No worries. He is an awesome man and wants to make sure that our son gets his pictures taken.

Pictures were handed out a couple weeks later. Mine were not there. Oh well maybe they just got mixed up. I wasn’t sure.  A friend informed me to message her on Facebook as she has a fan page. Any way I can communicate with the business I will and had taken advantage of.

September 23rd – Messaged the business informing the missing photos.

Business Response:  “Oh no… I do show that I took his photo, #9, but did not get an order for him. Do you remember when or who you gave your order too?”

My response: “The check was cashed…. See the attached image (I provided the cashed check) It was you whoever was at the place taking the photos”

Business Response: “That would be me. I’m sorry. Do you remember what you ordered” I can put your order in? Get it to you?

My response: “It was the package that had the team photo and others. Did you have a package for $18.50. (the amount of the check that was written)

Business Response: “Wait! I have your order! I had his in with the midgets…. Who I photograph this Friday (1) Wallet (1) 5×7 Player (1) 8×10 (1) 5×7 Team. I’m sorry!!! I’ll get that order in!

October 16th – I had to respond again as I had not received the photos. “Hi there. Just wanted to follow up in reference to the photos I had ordered. I haven’t received them yet and was curious on the status.

Business Response: I figured out what I did…on your order form there wasn’t a coaches name, but your sons #9. I took your photos to coach Crossly today and apparently I had the wrong #9, there is a young man with the name of XXXX who is #9. Is your address XXXXXX? I will have the new set sent to you. Just confirm that address. I’ll add an extra set of wallets for my mistake. Sorry.

So I wait & low and behold I get the pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t want to look at them because of the worrisome of realizing there may be an issue. I held off on opening them for the entire day. Again it seemed like I started with square one again, it was the right photo of my son however not the right amount of what I ordered.

The team photo was missing & then just realized that the 5×7 player photo was missing.  I messaged her again.

October 24th: “I am very confused now. I got the pictures, thank you however the team picture is missing… I don’t really know what to think right now as I never had to struggle to get photos. Can you please advise?

Nothing……. I myself like fast, quick responses letting me know my message had either been received or acknowledged. I don’t like to be a sitting duck waiting. Maybe that is just me I don’t know. So I went ahead and went to their business page wall on Facebook and noticed the business owner was responding to other photo comments etc……?

FB Business Page Post: tried messaging you on FB with no response yesterday but see you responding to other post afterward. As I mentioned in the message after the hassle of getting the correct photos of my sons football pictures after 3 times of failed attempts (which the 3rd time I got them) but unfortunately missing the team picture. I have never had issues with receiving photos from my orders but am dissatisfied with the lack of communication and correction of my order. I may have to ask “are you unable to keep up with your services you offer?”

Business Response: Do you have my phone number? I would be happy to return the $4.00

Let’s stop right there……. I DON’T WANT THE $4.00 back….. I just want my team photo!

Here is a screen shot below of the conversation. As you noticed others had commented on there also, which yes this is Facebook when you post to a business all of your friends that you associate with see your post to that business page. That is most likely way they went on there and seen I was dissatisfied and provided their input.

Low and behold my phone dings at me this morning as it does throughout the night notifying me of an email coming through. As my bad habit that I have I wake up and scroll through them and noticed a personal email from the business owner.  I am half awake and reading this email and cannot believe a business owner would go out that far to make a point. She had acknowledged the order from the previous messages, acknowledged which child it was (due to the mix up of the #9) and sent me a copy of the order form. Well she should have reviewed the order form first before sending it out as that is when I realize that I am missing more photos. After the image take a gander at the email…

Business email received:

Good morning Jennifer,

Last week you wrote on my facebook business page about how unsatisfied you were with my services. After your first post, I contacted you and apologized. I followed up by having your order sent directly to your home, with double the amount of wallets and emailed you a digital copy of your sons photo for your personal printing. Last night again you wrote an angry paragraph on my wall and had two friends add comments. This was because I didn’t add the team photo in your order. At this point I will refund your $4.00 and ask you to stop the inappropriate comments. So now I would like to respond.

Why was there issues with your order? Please see attached order form, note where I wrote your sons #. You did not fill in a coaches name, a players name, nor a players #. I photographed over 90 players that evening. I do not know the players by name and rely on my forms to be filled out. Your last name and your sons last name are different so again I had no way to sort this out until someone asked about their photos. One other issue was the fact that there are 2 #9 players in Pop Warner this year. When I narrowed your sons # to 9 the first set I printed were the other player who has the #9. These were all factors in your sons photo process. It would have worked much smoother if you could have put time into the order form. At the least, wrote your sons name in.

Above and beyond the Pop Warner football business, I pride myself on what I do for Kingsley’s football program as a volunteer to Pop Warner, Middle School and High School, providing my photo services for free to help raise money and build a better program.

I will be sending your $4.00 refund in the mail next week and consider my business with you completed.

Yes I acknowledge there was information that was missing however corrected through the messages sent back and forth with her acknowledging that the right player, order, coach etc.  Why in the world would a business owner even send this to a customer?

She did also have me confused with another customer that wrote a dissatisfaction message on her wall so as always I got the brunt of it. No worries, I now understand the confusion and overwhelming responsibilities on her end so I will shrug it off and bite my tongue as I just want my pictures. I don’t want no returned $, no hasty email, nothing I JUST WANT MY PICTURES.

Now in a business sense, if a customer provides lack of information, which I do deal with from clients on a daily basis, I never call them out on it; I call them and ask them for the information that is missing. You would be surprised on the positive response received when working with clients in a helpful and most important, professional manner.  I would never in my right mind call a client out on their lack of information.  Taking it into a personal email and placing your personal feelings is the highest lack of professionalism I have ever seen or heard of.

Bad business practices can hurt a business more than it can help it. As the rule of thumb goes for 1 unhappy customer trickles out to 10 other customers and then it branches off.  A bad reputation can create a dent in reality for taking on the next level of more customers. Can you step up to take on more customers or can you not? Do you have the patience to make it right or lose more with your wrong?

I do hope; however am doubtful this is going to be corrected as it seems a personal issue has overtaken a business profession.

What are your thoughts? What would you do if you received an email from a business owner in this manner?

All opinions are solely based upon the author only: Jennifer Schrader


As always I am a huge fan of superior customer service and expectations from support received for anything I purchase, contract through etc. If I am a customer, receiving excellent customer service is what I expect.

That may not be the case, unfortunately. Customer service tends to get too comfortable within their position to the point they start to assume what the consumer wants or needs. On the consumers end this can create a make or break in a client-vendor relationship. How do they know what the consumer needs when they haven’t taken the time to listen to what the issue or request is?

Working within customer service I have seen the most insulting tactics ever. Co-workers kicking calls, entering invalid notes from the conversation, transferring them to tech support when they could have corrected the needed issue, lack of follow up, promising things & never going through with it, etc……  It hurts to see that happen as I have experienced both sides, vendor & client, and having this be seen in live action gets under my skin.

Clients that pay, expect to receive exceptional & excellent customer service. Why neglect & abuse the hand that feeds you? The sales staff works hard to get deals in, close contracts and building relationships but they don’t sell to clients knowing them to be treated with a harsh customer service department. Having an a strong customer service department gives a cushion for the sales staff for selling product knowing their clients are going to be taken care of. This helps sales staff to get referrals, B2B business & up selling.

Strong customer service = Longer client relation = Higher retention rate

Once clients go into customer service / customer support, this is part of a relationship that can help clients stay with your business for a life time, if you stop & think like the client themselves.

What helps customer service department be strong in what they do?

Creating a strong customer service department is not easy as 1, 2, 3….! It takes a lot of work & time to perfect a department that is strong with communication skills, knowing needs, creativity,  assisting with not just tech support however a variety of skills to be combined into one & most important of all LISTEN!

Selling cars & being on the actual front line of what dealers do along with experiencing dealership operations helped me understand first hand their needs, wants, demands and so forth. Not having that experience would have prevented me from knowing the actual workings of a dealership. I had taken on every training option that was available at the dealership to help me better understand the workings. Getting your customer service team to experience a dealership operation will only help them.

Ask one of your clients if you can bring your team to their dealership for a day to experience the dealer’s life. It won’t hurt as it will only help. Dealers that know the means behind this tactic will encourage more to teach your team to be a strong successful department.

Building a team for a customer service department is a large task but will surely pay off in the long run. Have they sold
cars, worked within the office of the dealership, title clerk, finance, sales manager, internet department, business development, worked with the service department, customers, you name it. Knowing that your potential employee has worked within those departments can help you & your support team consists of a strong team.

What do you expect from customer service?

All opinions are solely based upon the author only. Jennifer Schrader

New Age of Technology; have we lost the skill to speak with customers?

So many amazing devices and tools we now use to communicate with customers digitally have been a large benefit at the touch of our fingers. We seemed to have lost the skill on how to speak directly with a customer in person.

Having this benefit of communication creates a dismay in speaking skills & customer service when coming face to face with the customer themselves. Why? Is it because we have become so lazy to take advantage of technology that we overlook the customer’s voice? Do we assume that we know what they want & need?

I feel we have in my opinion. Just like we fail to take a moment to send a hand written card to a customer but instead we send an email. Customers still want that interaction in person from a live person; it’s the original way of life to be living social.

During my time of being an Internet Sales Manager one customer comes to mind. I received a lead on a 2004 Dodge Ram. I responded and the gentleman and I hit it off. Great conversations and after about 2 days of consistent emailing he wanted to meet and purchase the truck. At that point I assumed I knew everything about him. What did I know? He arrived to the dealership, we shook hands and exchanged a few words & that was it. I tried to strike a conversation with him but he was not about it at all. Only about 10-15 words were spoken by him. Did I assume I knew too much about him as our emails were in depth of great conversations but his goal was to purchase and leave with his truck. Never assume you know everything about a customer as they can surprise you.

Assuming the customer’s needs can bite you in the behind before you know it.  Listening to the customer and reacting in a positive way can help you achieve the best customer satisfaction because you had taken the time to LISTEN. Failing to listen will create negative results in your customer service skills.

Text Messages, Emails, Skype, Facebook & all those types of digital communication can be interpreted in a wrong way as you are dealing with a live customer LIVE CUSTOMER! Don’t forget that. Online consumers are smart and they deserve to have live customer service.

Have you found yourself in a position of forgetting how to take on the live customer since technology & digital communication has taken over our lives to make it easier?

All views & opinions are solely based upon the author only – Jennifer Schrader

Seeing this on a daily bases when I was in active sales 9 out of 10 times there is a middle man blocking your way to the decision maker. What do you do when this happens? Many & this is how you can take advantage of reaching out to make an impact for the middle man may be blocking your efforts to provide quality tools for the owner’s quality business.

The Middle Man can be a variety of positions within a dealership. The Internet Manager, BDC Manager, E Commerce Manager etc. The one that really gets me is the Finance Manager. 9 out of those 10 times they all claim they are the decision maker…….! If you think that you are going get them to sign the contract you better think again. Those words “I am the decision makers” gets you geeked up and ready to provide a killer product demonstration. But when it comes down to it, they are not the decision maker. Go to the main decision maker, Owner, Dealer Principal or CTO.

I am not throwing now hate on the Internet Managers, BDC or E Commerce, but what I have found is 99% of them are not the decision maker. Now what does that mean to you? Take advantage of these helpful tips to get to the decision maker and keep them in the loop with your products as they can be valuable for what the owner wants to have for their business, not the position of the Middle Man.

Introduction: You get a lead, you respond and of course you speak & communicate directly with the Internet manager. Ask them point blank “Who is the decision maker?” if their response is “I am” don’t buy it. Be blunt and request that the Dealer Principal, GM or CTO be involved with the product demonstration. If they push back on that, request for their managers name.  It doesn’t hurt to ask and call for the order.

Conference, Conference, Conference Call! Always set up a conference call after the follow up of the product demonstration with all parties that were involved. This prevents from mixed information, mixed communication and again gives the opportunity for you to CALL FOR THE ORDER. Having management & all decision makers can help make a larger impact for your success at closing a deal.

Follow Up…. Did I say Follow Up!  Yes we have all been there, ignored emails, massive amounts of voicemails. No worries. All departments within a dealership are very busy and don’t let that kill your confidence of earning their business.  If you provide that you are active in following up and requesting for the order to return your call or even an email can get a response from them. Respect their decision making time.

EDUCATE with Follow Up! This falls into the Follow Up listed above. If you were able to compile the contacts for the decision maker(s) you can provide valuable and educational information to them. This helps give the impression you are consistent on keeping up with the market trends, analytics, new data and whatever you can your hands on!

Don’t Give Up! If it comes down to being ignored or pushed off to voice jail (voicemail) then do a bit of research. Check out their website, you can find out a lot of information from the staff page or about us page and take the risk of contacting the owner. What do you have to lose? Nothing!

Taking advantage of the opportunity to reach out to the decision maker is half the battle but getting over the middle man is another.  Ask for the order and you will receive it. Like I said it don’t hurt to ask!

All opinions are solely based upon the author only. Jennifer Schrader

Are you currently seeking employment or plan on doing so in the future? Many of us don’t realize the education a job seeker needs to ensure they are going to land a secure job let alone landing a Bad Boss! You will find some tall tale signs of reading your future boss and how they are going to be if you get the job.

Preparing yourself beforehand can help you achieve a solid career or employment. Bad Boss’s are a nightmare within its own category!

You get the call from the company you have had your hopes up for! You go through the routine of fantasizing how the work place is, putting your game face on, pulling out the finest clothes, double checking your resume for any grammatical errors! YOU’RE READY TO WIN THIS INTERVIEW…..! Until you walk out that door!

But……………! Take a moment and review the 5 Tall Tale Signs of a Bad Boss!

EYE CONTACT: Hello I am over here! This reminds me of speaking with a child and trying to get them to lock eyes with you so you can explain something to them. Having eye contact ensures that the child got the point when told or explained the first time.  Having an adult not make eye contact creates a non-interest in his position, insecure of his/her position, lack of confidence or guilty. You need to ask yourself “If my future employer can’t make eye contact how does his client(s) react to this?” This Tall Tale sign is a red flag for when an issue happens, someone will be hiding in that office and it surely is not going to be you!

FIRE HAPPY: Uh…. Interview please! If the interviewer is Fire Happy this is a major warning sign of how he/she is going to talk about you. I personally experienced this myself.  I walk into the interview and everything is going well, too darn well however I should have noticed the warning sign of the individual getting amped up about “Firing this person” “Firing that person”………! This person was not shy about diminishing their character. I soon realized that anger can take over someone’s judgment; this is why these unfortunate characters including myself, fell victim to a Fire Happy Boss! If they are proud to shout about it, you are not clarified as a value to the company!

DESK EXPLOSION: Is there a body in there? Remember the saying “A first impression is always the best impression”. Yes I know that bosses get busy and caught up with so many things causing an unorganized desk and/or office. If you watch your boss getting caught up with the paperwork on this desk, can’t find anything which causes frustration…. Think “If I need something how will they find it?” This is very scary! Just imagine you sending in a vacation request and it was lost in the pile? Guess you will have to work through your vacation!

PROCRASTINATOR: This was to be done a week ago! I highly doubt you are going to be able to get the honest answer from the interviewer / owner to give you the answer however you can do this: call any of their existing clients and just tell them you are searching the company & you would like to discuss further on their current customer service experience. If they have negative feedback, something can be seriously wrong internally that you may not want to get involved with.  If you constantly hear them say “They always say it will get done but never does”, “We’ve been waiting for weeks”, “There are still a bunch of glitches”, “They never answer their phone”, “Over promised under delivered” etc.  If you have a company that cannot keep up with the clients’ needs, technical issues and such; why in the world would you want to push that product on to future clients or even your clients that follow you? YIKES….! Bad Boss’s love to procrastinate over their company to make it look good, which is how they get their hooks into you! Pushing a bad product is pushing a bad business.

CLIENTS! CLIENTS! Are you done asking? If you repeatedly hear from the interviewer, future boss or manager constantly ask you about your clients…… BEWARE! This is a major red flag! They are more interested in getting their hot fingers on your client list and your contacts. Be cautious on uploading your information as these are clients you worked hard on to build relationships with for your future growth. You know them better than anyone else and you know when to approach them with the product if you take on the position you are interviewing for.  I consider this “Old dogs up to their old tricks again!” I still see this happen more than I would like to see.  For instance I was on an interview with a very well known company recently, once we get further into the call they started getting in their comfort zone and started asking me several times of my connections within the auto industry & dealer groups. After the 3rd time, I had to get them back on track of my experience and what I can do for them. It never stopped! Just be careful on supplying your customer relationships from the past into future employments as this can place you in a tuff spot when choosing your clients best interest over your Bad Boss’s Bad Habits!

I surely hoped you can take these Tall Tale Signs for Bad Boss’s to your advantage. All that is listed above is from past personal experiences.  Be sure you are educated before you educate them!

All views & opinions are solely based upon the author only: Jennifer Schrader

As a Freelancing Blogger & Designer, I do get my fair share of negatives involved with some that I feel don’t understand however I don’t take it personal. I tread on it when it happens. The question “Why?” may come up by you & this is my answer! This can be taken full advantage of for yourself & the daily operations of your business regardless of what you do.

As using a mindset that is different, I have found out more positive outcome & business relationships build stronger by doing so.

With myself I am very open minded & will speak freely of what I feel and believe. We all do! It’s just human nature & how we communicate, learn, express & feed off of.  Negative press especially can capture more attention and spread like wildfire through the newsfeeds, social media (more than ever), & receive more involvement from the commentators of our digital world.

Lets’ say that your negative feedback or press is coming back to haunt you. Your blood may be boiling; you can’t stop thinking about it, upset with yourself because you are letting it get to you.


Any news is good news! They are talking about you!

By being involved with what is being said, is go back and see if there is something missing, find out what they are saying, answer any and all questions. Take it offline through other media outlets, email or Skype, and talk about it! Maybe it’s a simple misunderstanding and you never know as you may just find someone like you out there! By rectifying the negative, you may just find yourself to be wrong.

By taking this mindset and using it to the fullest advantage you will see the positive outcome is more newsworthy that what you thought & you may come out to be the SUPERSTAR!

All views & opinions are solely based by the Author Jennifer Schrader. (231) 360-0730

Demo Glam & Glitter… What to look out for on a product demo!

You gather the team, you organize the efforts to create a meeting with the new vendor(s) of choice, you are exhausted and now the time has come for the vendor-client meeting.

What do you need to look for and how do you think they are going to perform after the initial signing on the dotted line?

Either the vendor is going to come in with amazing screens, laptops, high quality business cards (I have seen metal ones!) high end suits & goodies or you may have a casual wearing, paper business cards, small laptop vendor come in. Regardless of what they wear or what they come in as, what comes out of their mouth during the demonstration of the product is the most important part to pay attention too.

Key Terms to pay attention too:

WE PROMISE: Hearing this is like a broken record similar to a child promising to remember to do their chores on a daily basis, but you find yourself constantly reminding them daily to remember.  

WE GAURANTEE: This is very scary! How can you guarantee traffic, customers, increase and such? It’s impossible to throw that term out unless the vendor has full control of the actual online consumer. Demographics & general location play a major role in this.  Are they at the front door of each and every consumer “MAKING THEM” come to you? I highly doubt it. If your vendor is guaranteeing results it is a term loosely used and a headed direction for failure. (A way to get you to sign faster)

SPECIAL ACCOUNT: I have heard this several times.  “You will be one of our Special Accounts & will have lots of attention”… What about their other clients? Do they get the Special Accounts treatment & do you think the non special accounts would be a bit disturbed if they heard that they weren’t? The proof is in the pudding when you make those calls to clients that are not listed on their testimonials page. This brings me to my next point.  

CALL OUR TESTIMONIALS: Sure thing, this is nice giving the opportunity to do your homework but what about the non testimonials. If they claim they have several hundred accounts, ask for the list and you can have the opportunity to pick and choose who to call that are not on the Testimonials page of their website.  Remember you want to pay for a great product which then entails to great customer service.

WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN: If you hear this, have them include it in on the agreement. When this is mentioned in a demo, this is not going to help you one bit because once you sign and throw that request in either the developers or programmers are going to say “Can’t do it”… This will safe guard your request if it is in writing along with the other request you may have.

LOOK AT THIS GUY: They may pull out a few customers that are performing amazing with stellar numbers. Grabbing up clients that have demographics, location, products and such can help create a huge performance for those numbers month in and month out. What if you were the guy with a smaller demographic and location, don’t expect those numbers; this is just part of the Glam & Glitter of a product demo to show only the best of the best. What about the smaller guys?

IF YOU SIGN TODAY: Reminds me of the 4-squares & the Sharpie marker when I sold cars! Now what if I don’t sign today! Are you going to pull all these promises and guarantees away from me? You haven’t even done your homework yet, so why in the world would you sign today?

If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s not going to be. Just pay attention and be educated when meeting up with your next vendor.

I may not have covered all of the words to keep an eye & ear out during a product demo. Do you have any that you have heard but were never lived up to?

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader (231) 360-0730