Client Service Minute: A Study In Contrasts

By Pace Law | May 30, 2013

Client service tips from Paul Alisauskas – Pace Law FirmA couple of days ago, I encountered two very different approaches to client service:

I had a guitar strap with some of the stitching letting go. I needed a section of about 3” in length to be sewn. I located a shoe and sport repair shop in Collingwood that would have a sewing machine up to the task. I walked over at lunch time, hoping it could be repaired while I waited.

The proprietor was nice enough; he looked at the strap and said he could fix it. When I asked how long it would take, he expansively spread his arms to showcase his “huge” backlog of work. He then regaled me with unsolicited facts; that he was working two jobs; that this time of the year was “usually slow, but not this year”; that he was being run off his feet, etc. After a while, having given up any hope of getting it fixed today, I asked him when I could pick it up. He furrowed his brow and said, ”At least two weeks…maybe.”

There’s an old saying: “Want something done? Ask a busy person.” Well, apparently that’s only true half the time.

I was getting mildly irritated at this point and I asked how long he thought this “job” might take. He said, “About ten minutes.” In other words, less than the approximate amount of time I’d already spent in the shop at that point. He added: “Not everyone can be first.” I thanked him for his time, took my strap, and left.

Later that day, while getting something out of my car, I noticed some fluid on the driveway. I decided to get the car looked at. On my way home, I stopped by the oil change shop to make an appointment for the car to go up on the hoist. The proprietor was working on another car at the time, but asked me how he could help me. When I told him, he got me to drive my car up on his second hoist right then and started to look for signs of a leak. He spent a few minutes carefully checking fluid reservoirs and hoses. He soon declared the car to be OK. As I was reaching for my wallet, he just waived his hand and resumed the job on the other car. He added: “Any time….”

There’s an old saying: “Want something done? Ask a busy person.” Well, apparently that’s only true half the time.

Which of these folks are you like?