I have been under contract to buy a house since August 26th of this year. It has been…something else. Actually, it’s always something else. I gave them everything. Pretty much anything I’d touched in the past six months that had a number on it. Only to find out they needed something else. An explanation of this $20 deposit, a picture of a dollar bill drawn by my eldest. A side of fries. You get the idea.
For the record, I have not closed yet. It has been delayed twice since October 1st. Though, the other day I was reassured it will happen. The underwriting is approved. They mentioned a few tidying up things, I don’t know, hair samples from my cats or something. But I will close.
In the midst of this dizzying craziness, I had a rather warm fuzzy experience.
One particularly harrowing afternoon, informed of yet another postponement of Closing Day, I shuffled into my favorite watering hole feeling defeated. I was meeting friends to vent about the delay. Not a sip into my adult beverage, my cell phone rang. A number I didn’t recognize. An 800 one. I generally let those go to voicemail, but I was certain it would be the FBI, alerted of my whereabouts by the drone that has been following me since 8/26, warning me not to have too high of a bar tab because, you know, the UNDERWRITERS and all.
(My friends offered to pick up the tab. It was that rough of a week. Just sayin’.)
*Rock me Mama like a wagon wheel, rock me Mama any way you feel!*
(Ahem, my ring tone…)
“Hi! Is this Teresa Zube?”
“Teresa, this is Eduardo from CenturyLink.”
“Ooooooooooh, Eduardo. Hi, Eduardo. Ugh. Dangit. I know, I know, I owe you guys money. I’m sorry. I’m under a contract to buy a house and it has been a NIGHTMARE. I literally just got to the bar and was getting ready to have a good cry and a pep talk with my friends. Buying a house is so darn hard. Have you ever bought a house?”
“Yes. Yup, I sure have. My wife and I just bought one a few months ago. It was CRAZY!”
“Right?! Totally crazy. I am supposed to close next week. And I haven’t paid you guys because I know you won’t report to a credit agency just yet and apparently, to close, I need ALL of my money! Like every cent.”
“I completely understand. Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. When are you supposed to close?”
Eduardo proceeded to describe our game plan for saving me installation fees and late charges. We shared stories about our kids and his experience buying a house. He commiserated with me. He ended the conversation with, “Try to enjoy your weekend. Good luck with closing, and I’ll call you on Wednesday after you close.” I managed to say, “Thank you, you are so awesome.” And we hung up.
I returned to my friends and my adult beverage, not quite in the mood to moan about how hard it is to buy a house. I was buoyed by the kindness and understanding shown to me by Eduardo. He had made my night. I just kept repeating, “Seriously, how nice is that? Have you ever had a person at a call center actually offer to call you back about something that really isn’t their problem?”
I’ll admit, a tiny part of me wondered if there would be follow-through, or if his offer to call me back was merely an easy way to wash his hands of the snively chick with the woeful Closing Day tale. But, as promised, at 4PM on Wednesday he called. We sorted everything out. Though I’ve yet to close on the house, our plan is officially in place, and even though I am unable to pay them until after closing day, Eduardo arranged for us to have internet in the interim so my kids can start using it for homework. We haven’t had the internet since they started school.
As someone whose livelihood is based on customer service, I always appreciate when people go above and beyond. I’m inspired by them, as are my colleagues. Many of the reviews on TripAdvisor of the Wedgewood Lodge mention the friendly staff, and we feel that is one of our strongest suits. We strive to be like Eduardo.
Perhaps my experience with CenturyLink would not have gone so swimmingly had Eduardo never bought a home. Or had he bought a home when mortgages were being doled out with fervor. And maybe a free koozie. Clearly we connected given his recent experience and my current experience. But at the Wedgewood Lodge we believe there are always connections to be made and that is what makes working in customer service so rewarding.
It is important to us to remember that there are people with stories on the other side of the front desk or on the phone. And we have stories of our own.
Sometimes it seems we as people remember the negative experiences. With a client or as a client. But great customer service is just as, if not more, prevalent. At least we would like to believe that.
We would love to hear stories of your Eduardos, if you’re so inclined to share. Someone who went above and beyond for you and left you feeling appreciated and grateful as a customer or client. Please share them with us on our Facebook or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps we’ll share your story on Facebook or on this blog. We certainly hope to share them at our next staff meeting as we gear up for the ski season.
Your stories will help us better our service to our guests and give us ideas to make the Wedgewood Lodge more appealing and accommodating!
Aw, who are we kidding? Really we’re pretty keen in this office of Kumbaya Overload. Won’t you indulge us?