No Clean Sweep
There are a lot of stories regarding poor customer service – everyone has at least one tale of horror, and often one person’s bad experience brings an opportunity for everyone present to vilify whichever vendor or company gave them a hard time. In contrast, there are also customer service professionals who publish some of the not-quite-brilliant questions they receive, such as “Can you tell me where Woven is? This shirt says Woven in Scotland, and I might like to visit sometime.”
One company, Bungie Studios, decided that good customer service was not going to be sufficient. Instead, they provided a legendary customer service experience that is hard to top. Bungie develops online games that combine state-of-the-art technology with uncompromising art and captivating storytelling. Located in Bellevue, Washington Bungie has forged the Halo series into an award-winning global entertainment phenomenon. Which brings us to a young boy in the hospital to receive a liver transplant around the end of the year. Because he was hospitalized, he could not play the newest release of his favorite online game, you guessed it: Halo. His distraught father reached out to Bungie, and received an amazing response from the company.
First, the entire Bungie team signed and sent a card with get-well wishes. To make up for missing out on playing Halo, the team built him a custom helmet based on the main character and sent it to the hospital, along with shirts, toys and custom art from the game’s designers. The happy father posted a thank you thread and collection of images on Christmas day, heralding Bungie’s willingness to take care of their fans.
But sometimes the customer doesn’t wait for satisfaction and takes matters into her own hands. In February 2018, a patron at a metro Detroit carwash apparently became frustrated because she was not receiving faster service. She reportedly exited her car, grabbed an available push broom and struck a carwash employee on the arm with the handle, injuring him. But there’s more! The assault suspect then seized control of a spray gun and began spraying both the injured employee and a second employee with pressurized water.
Once her anger was depleted, she left the scene of the crime, followed by another individual in a different car. Responding officers located one vehicle at a car rental company, and the driver identified the potential perpetrator as her 24-year-old sister, although she was not at the scene of the disturbance. A traffic stop was subsequently initiated and the aggressor in the altercation was arrested and charged with one count of felonious assault and two counts of assault and battery. While there are many consumers who complain about customer service, and some rightfully so, attacking employees may be a gross overreaction to slow service.
Although there is no specific information regarding the nature of any injuries sustained in the assault, there are codes for:
Y00.XXXA Assault by blunt object, initial encounter
Y08.89XA Assault by other specified means, initial encounter
Y92.59 Other trade areas as the place of occurrence of the external cause
Behind every great customer service story is a special human being and a customer-centric company. The phrase “The customer is always right” was coined in 1909 by Harry Gorgon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London. However, as evidenced by the employee assault story above, that mind set may be just plain wrong. Businesses may actually be better off without certain disruptive customers.