Hi, its been a while since my last Blog entry – and in terms of customer service I'm embarrassed to have left it so long.

I should have written about the appalling service delivered (or in fact not delivered) by an internet web site “Dealsniper”. Endless prevarication and finally ignoring the requests for action. But, the site is based in the Far East and we have very little clout except to not use the site again – which I most certainly won't. If you have had a better experience from them do please tell me.

I should too have mentioned a leading Scottish building firm (and I know the industry is having a hard time) who specialise in conservation works as one of their business streams. The firm has laid off key staff who provided the comfort the client needs so they feel the job is being given the level of importance it deserves. I know that cost-cutting is important but always add Customer Care to the equation.

How many stories do you know about car salesmen? And are any of them favourable, I expect not. Well, here's one to redress the imbalance. I just bought a car from Brown Brothers at Peebles. Never been there before, or indeed know anyone who has, but they had a beautiful “mid life crisis” Mazda XR5 that just begged to be bought. I won't tell the story blow by blow but suffice to say that I've never come across a more agreeable and genuine place to do business. All the staff seemed from the same mould but as Mike Parker dealt with me mostly I must single him out. I've not been able, in these Blogs, to recommend many businesses for excellent customer service but I do so here, unreservedly.

Lastly though I need to revert to the norm, and what a shame it is that poor customer service is the norm! Popped into a local garden centre for coffee a few days ago and felt awkward that I was interrupting the conversation the two staff were having at the coffee shop counter. Still, I do now know about their holiday plans and some juicy bits about people I'd never heard of so I guess it had a bright side. The point is though that the customer is King (and Queen) and more importantly provides the wages! Doesn't matter if you're buying a coffee or a car, or looking for the reassurance that your requests are being treated with respect, treat a customer badly and you'll lose far more than that one customer.

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