Money: It should buy good customer service

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This week I really want to talk about customer service. I work in sales, so customer service is a big part of my job. And bad or even just adequate customer service really bothers me. As a customer, I am paying for a service, and I expect the people taking my money to be friendly and attentive.

I’d like to start by mentioning that I try to start every customer service interaction with humor. Example: I wanted to look into sunless tanning for the wedding (that’s fancy young folks speak for spray tan). When the girl gave me a tour, she mentioned they had two spray tanning options: one was immediate color, and the other took longer to dye your skin, about 2 to 5 hours. I made a joke about the immediate color booth being used for random tanning emergencies and we had a good laugh.

I’ve tried infusing humor into all of my interactions with the wedding vendors. After all, I’m forking over thousands of dollars, so the only way I can manage to not cry about that is to laugh at stupid stuff. My caterer is awesome. She has the same sense of humor as I do, she always gets back to me within a few hours, and I’ve not had any problems with her.

My DJ is friendly, has been working with me to get a great playlist for our reception, and has always gotten back to me within a day. I have only interacted with the dress consultant once, when I chose my dress, but she was amazing that one time, and I expect no less when I go back in June for my first fitting.

The only customer service I’ve had an issue with is my venue. No one has ever been rude to me. When I ask a question, they do eventually give me an answer. I say “eventually” because it takes two emails from me within a week’s — or sometimes two weeks’ — time to get an answer out of them.

The venue we chose hosts weddings quite a bit, but they aren’t a full-service venue like some of the others we could have chosen from. Our wedding and reception are in the same place so there’s no travel to worry about. They don’t provide food or drink so we’ve been able to choose our own caterer, cakemaker, and bartenders. I have control over every aspect of the wedding, from the lighting to the tablecloths to the décor.

But as great as that is (because I’m an anal-retentive nutcase), it also means that when I want to try out a decoration or figure out the table seating, I have to email them to request that someone meet me there to let me in so I can take measurements or figure out logistics. Every time without fail, it has taken not less than four days to get a response. And it drives me CRAZY!

Bad customer service bothers me. But my biggest pet peeve about bad customer service is when someone doesn’t answer me. I don’t expect an answer immediately, but at least write me back and let me know you got my email and are working on it. My last email, sent on Monday, has gone unanswered for this entire week. I was hoping they would get it together since I’m paying them to use their space, but I guess a few thousand dollars just isn’t enough to buy a response.