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Street Talk

Small Town Customer Service A Plus For Vallians

By Jessie Gurner

Have you found yourself dealing with a large company recently? The kind that has great PR that advertises how wonderful they are and how they’re always available to help.

    They may not be telling the whole story. Recently I dealt with two utility providers: one was the City of Water Valley, the other a large out-of-town corporation.

    For the Water Valley service I went to City Hall and talked to Crystal Hale about what I wanted to do. She gave me the forms I needed, then asked if there was anything else she could do to help. The entire process took less than five minutes.

    Then it was time to deal with the big guys. After working my way through the directory to the department I needed, I was put on hold.  Finally a real person answer. When I explained what I needed I was told it wasn’t possible. More explanations. Finally they said that it could be done, but they would need to speak to someone else to authorize the change that I was requesting.  That person called and was told that the request would have to come from me.  I called back.

    Oh, no, the customer rep told me.  You can’t do that.

    It took 45 minutes and three more phone calls to accomplish what it took Crystal less than 5 minutes to do.  

    Personal attention wins every time.  Many large companies have the idea that personal attention is a form letter program that automatically inserts your name beside the word “Dear.”

    Whether it’s our city employees or our small business owners, they know better. They provide personal attention and good customer service because they actually know the people they are dealing with. Being helpful to their customers is not something they just advertise, it’s something they do.

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