It’s not often you hear about great customer service these days. Seriously, when is the last time you got off the phone with “support” and were actually not pulling your hair out or screaming obscenities? “Customer service” has become a meaningless word to categorize good service and bad. And as a result, it seems like all we have is bad.

About a week ago I noticed that an EFT payment I should have received was not showing in my checking account. We’re not talking a lot of money, so it wasn’t that big a deal. I am a member of an affiliate program and get recurring commissions, which have generally been very small. So small, in fact, that I haven’t even noticed not getting them for the past 2 years. Completely my fault. After noticing that I had missed an EFT deposit (I get an email once a month letting me know it’s coming) I decided to check on last months, and then the previous and the previous. I got back to May 2006, over 24 months, before I found the last successful EFT deposit! Whoah.

Some would say that it’s clearly the company’s fault for not catching the error. Sure, they have some responsibility, but they did in fact initiate the EFT transfers. I had changed banking account information back in May of 2006, and somehow that change wasn’t successful. I should have made sure I was successfully receiving the transfers after the change.

When I contacted them about the issue, the support representative looked into it as much as she could, but I’m sure she didn’t have access to all the information or access needed to resolve the issue. She got another representative involved who got one of the management team involved. It took a total of 10 days to resolve and 14 days – 2 weeks – to get an EFT payment of the total owed for over 2 years.

Some might say, “What took so long?” Not me. They kept in close contact with me, updating me every step of the way. They were polite and understanding, even though a brunt of the blame was on me for not noticing sooner. They were happy to give me my money, even though some of it was from over 2 years ago.

The company, CDG Commerce has earned my respect. I appreciate that there are still companies out there who know what “customer service” means.

If you want to get extraordinary customer service, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t overreact. It’s most likely not this particular representative’s fault, they’re just trying to help.
  • Always err to the side of accepting blame instead of dishing it out. It’s much more likely that you’ll get help if you’re accepting part of the responsibility (even if it isn’t your fault at all). People like humility.
  • Give it time. Don’t expect resolution in one hour or one day (depending on the issue, of course). Understand that there are hoops to jump through and simply ask to stay informed.
  • Be polite and always thank them for everything they are doing to help. This is self-explanatory, treat them how you want to be treated and they will probably bend over backwards to help you. These people get yelled at all day, day after day. Speaking to a compassionate and thankful person will really make their day, and could make yours too.

Just remember that most companies and support representatives want to help you.