Friday, August 17, 2007

Midwest Nice: more to say about customer service

A while back, I posted on the unbelievably excellent customer service provided by CDW of Vernon, Illinois, when I placed an on-line order for a privacy filter for my laptop. (I actually don't particularly want or need a privacy filter, but I did want and need something that would cut the brighter-than-a-thousand-suns glare emanating from my screen.)

Privacy filter arrived on time, and it is pretty much doing the glare-reducing trick.

One small problems: the little plastic sticky-backed tabs that hold it in place seem to come loose and fall off - not enough to make the filter useless, just enough to make things annoying.

I decided that I needed a supply of the sticky tabs, so I sent an e-mail to the generic customer support account at CDW asking whether they supplied them.

I have to report that I did not receive a return e-mail.

No, what I got instead was a return phone call, from one Robert Nixon, who was the customer support rep who had followed up with me on my original order.

Robert gave me the disappointing news that they did not carry extra sticky tabs, but gave me a number at 3M to call.

Which I did.

Where I got another Midwest-nice Robert (Bob sorry-but-I-don't-know-his-last-name), this one from Minnesota, not Illinois, on the line.

3M Bob has sent me a new set of tabs, which I now know are called tab mounts or slide mounts. (I think mine are slide mounts.)  He has also sent me a business reply card that asks for feedback on the mounts, which is addressed to another real person at 3M, Linda T.

What's not to like about this level of customer service?

Here I am, a small CDW customer, who has placed one small order in my entire time as a CDW customer. Yet they have not only provided me with excellent customer service, they have even provided me with excellent customer service from the same fellow. (Again, I'm assuming that Robert Nixon is an actual person and not, as I speculated in my prior post, the Betty Crocker of CDW.)

Kudos to Robert Nixon, customer service rep extraordinaire.

Kudos to Bob 3M, another customer service rep extraordinaire.

Midwest nice? Really good business practice? A little - make that a lot - of both?

Anyway, when we read about companies shedding their non-profitable customers, and/or treating all their customers shabbily, it is entirely refreshing to have had this experience with both CDW and 3M.

Next time I need something tech-y, I will certainly check out CDW (and see if there's a 3M product to fit the bill). Until then, I will make repeat visits to Staples to pick up 3M Post-It notes in all available colors.


Mary Schmidt said...

And, by writing about both companies - you're spreading the word. I'll definitely keep CDW in mind for my next techy purchase (and tell others)...and so it goes.

CDW didn't announce some splashy "Word-of-Mouth" campaign. They "simply" do a good job. How refreshing!

Hmmm...I'm thinking of buying a MacBook soon - and CDW sells them. Cool!

John Whiteside said...

Mary - do some price shopping. I just got mine two days ago (& LOVE it). I wanted Parallels desktop and Windows XP on it, and MacMall- though it was not an inspiring experience - saved me hundreds of dollars. So, while I didn't enjoy shopping with the, the price difference was worth it & I did have the right thing sitting in my office within a week.

Linda T. said...

Thank you for investing your time to share your encounter with 3M.
I am 'the real person at 3M, Linda T' and wanted to thank you for highlighting your experience with Bob Harris (the Midwest-nice Robert (Bob sorry-but-I-don't-know-his-last-name), this one from Minnesota, not Illinois).
We strive to delight our customers and yours was a perfect example of how Bob provides outstanding service in support of 3M products and customers.