The Sweet Service Award goes to Galeisha and her team at Huguenot Fine Chocolates in Franschhoek, for being able to fulfill an order for 50 boxes of turndown chocolates on the same day as receiving the order, as the customer had run short.
The Sour Service Award goes to Glenwood Manufacturers, nominated by Megan from Sugarbird Manor. She writes as follows: “We recently requested a quote from a Glenwood for new Room Info Pack holders, Do Not Disturb (DND) signs & Menu covers. They sent us artwork for the DND signs and advised that all the other establishments were fine with the fact that on the one side it had “make up room” in lower case and “PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB” on the other side in uppercase. If you are in the service industry, would you think nobody would find this peculiar? I requested the cost of a new embossing block, which they could use in future for any other clients who also found this peculiar. The block would cost R600. I found this an exorbitant price for 8 items, that would only cost R78 to have made? I called the Sales Rep, and advised her that we would not be placing the order unless they halve the price of the block. She would get back to me, she said. I then received an e-mail with the new artwork, so assumed that they valued our business and were happy to give it to us half price. I signed the artwork off, and then received the invoice. Yes, they charged us R600! The sales rep said she could not recall the conversation that we had! I then spoke to Tracy, the manager, who advised me that I was wrong, and that if I cancel the order, they would sue us! Now I ask you, what kind of service is this? Are the people in the tourism industry just more aware of the fact that the client is ALWAYS right and that you NEVER say no? What is going to happen in 2010? Are there going to be suppliers who will refuse to take a step back – and yes, maybe loose a few rand, but in the long run, have a happy client who will talk about you, in turn getting more people to make us of your services or not have them come back to SA because our service levels are atrocious? There must be someone out there who would have treated me the way we treat our clients, that deserves the business more!”
Tracy, the Manager at Glenwood Manufacturers, responded as follows: “Megan at Sugarbird Manor was shown samples of exactly what she would receive should she place the order. She did query the difference in embossing and I discussed it with her at length.
- I explained that as all our products are made to order our clients either supply or order their own embossing blocks.
- I explained the process & the costs involved should she choose to order a new lower case block saying “do not disturb”.
- I then explained that the embossing blocks we were using to do her job were blocks that the company had made up in the past to do samples for new clients. I was prepared to use these block on her signs AT NO CHARGE as I agreed that her spending R 600 on a new block was not very cost effective for her company.
- When she suggested that I use another companies block, I explained that it was unethical for us to do that as the block had been paid for by the companies and did not belong to us. Therefore were not ours to use.”
“Megan then demanded to speak to the sales rep.,who repeated what I had said and said she would try get a discount from the block manufacturer. Artwork was sent to Megan for the new block and it was signed off and returned to us. At no time did Megan mention that she did not want to continue with the order nor did she send us a cancellation. When the invoice was sent to her with a 20% discount on the embossing block (ie R480 not the R 600 that was mentioned in Megan’s nomination), we were told that they now aren’t prepared to pay for the block or the order unless I only charge them R300.”
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.