CHAMBER CHAT: Good customer service comes in many forms

NANAIMO – Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce hosts customer service workshop.

By Kim Smythe

Whether it’s a truly helpful encounter in a retail shop, a ‘human’ conversation with somebody on the phone, or somebody whose free advice helps solve a problem – good customer service comes in many forms, just not often enough for most of us.

The good experiences really stand out because they are, unfortunately, becoming more and more rare. Recently I had two great customer service experiences – both on the same day. Off to replace the family barbecue after five years of decent service, I decided to seek out the famous ‘Big Green Egg.’ With only one local retailer, I felt a little cornered if I was going to make a decision to go with the product. But the business owner started to talk about his experience with the product and his pride and joy was contagious.

This friendly enthusiasm and spirited personal approach made all the difference in the world and I ended up with an Egg. I also noticed he acted just about the same with everyone who walked in whether they were after barbecues, hot tubs, accessories or just information on a product they’d already purchased.

Personable, committed to customers, and genuine. A real find.

I needed to drop into the specialty lighting store next to the Big Green Egg outlet. A floor lamp purchased about a year previous had become wobbly. Rather than attempt to fix it myself and likely break it, I asked if I could pay them to do it right.

“How about a brand new one in a box?” was the friendly rep’s reply. I put the box in my car and was about to drive away when she came running out the door waving light bulbs in the air. “You don’t want to have to buy these again – I took them from your broken lamp.” Wow.

Unfortunately, not every day brings such refreshing customer service experiences. But they could and should. We’ll help you with that on June 24 at Lightning Talks 2.

Speakers David Hatchman, Braeden Wheatcroft, Nick West and Dan Burnett all offer their take on improving your relationship with customers and providing service that people will tell their friends about – like I am now.

For tickets, please visit the chamber website at, or find Lightning Talks on Facebook.

Kim Smythe is CEO of Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.