Make Your Success: Service Excellence Required


What it is? Service excellence, the IT factor, is a positive by-product of a High-Performance Team and a company’s overall culture. The Zappos’ customer service story is famous and bears repeating.


“Mrs. Smith” placed a special order for her husband; however, her husband passed before the gift arrived. Mrs. Smith called to cancel but the order had shipped. After finding out why, not only was the shipment stopped, the Zappos’ agent sent flowers to Mr. Smith’s memorial. This behavior doesn’t happen by chance. Service excellence is embedded in the habits of a company from the CEO down. IT is made part of a company’s DNA.

Conversely, my wife and I recently had an experience with a well-known appliance manufacturer known for having compressor design defects (class action lawsuit settled). The refrigerator was less than 3 years old and one Sunday we noticed everything in the freezer wasn’t frozen. I called the manufacturer’s customer service and was told an authorized service technician would be available 6 days out simply to diagnose the problem. The refrigerator was stocked so that was a negative option but the only option the representative was allowed to offer. I had a reputable, though not manufacturer authorized, service company verify and document my suspicion the next day (Monday) that the compressor failed. The technician told me, “This is common. The particular manufacturer had settled a class-action lawsuit the previous year for defective compressors.” The cost of repair (replaced with another defectively designed compressor) was 85% of the cost of a new unit. We opted for door “B.” We packed all of the food in coolers and by Wednesday a new (albeit different brand) was delivered and installed, 3 full days before a manufacturer’s authorized tech could even diagnose. The submitted invoice was rejected because “an authorized tech” did not diagnose the issue. The poor experience could have been stopped at any number of levels. This company made a conscious decision to continue to produce defective units AND created roadblocks to a positive customer experience.

Luke Frey improves franchise owners’ businesses where corporate support alone fails. He brings 26+ years of varied professional experiences including 20 years as a franchise owner of ImageFIRST Cincinnati, 6 years as an industrial engineer for a Fortune 250 company (3 while living in Honduras, C.A.) and 19 years as a volunteer firefighter. All of these experiences, in addition to his drive to learn, have brought him to be a positive driving force for other franchise owners’ successes. Luke is currently a member of the Center for Executive Coaching and is in the final publishing phase of his first children’s book. To learn more about Luke and how Bella Vista Executive Advisors can help, please click HERE