It's easy to get really lazy in communications, for a variety of reasons. When someone is trying to give you money, however, it's really hard to explain why your customer service communication should be so crappy when it's not that tough to communicate with customers really well. We were ordering new business cards. I emailed the file to the printer and asked whether the business cards could be ready within a few days since one of us was headed to Chicago to present at a market research conference.

One day later, I received an email which said they'd be done in time.

I emailed back and asked about providing credit card information via phone since I wouldn't be picking them up and couldn't easily get a check ahead of time to the person picking them up from the printer.

The printer answered back with one line: "We don't accept credit cards."

Okay, that answered the exact question, but didn't really move us along in the buying process.

I replied and asked how much the printing job would be so I could get the check cut and get it to Barrett for payment at pick-up.

One day later, he replied with one line again, providing the cost of the printing job followed with, "plus tax."

Okay, by this point it's clear I want to GIVE HIM MONEY, yet he refused to work with me to provide the simple information to pay them efficiently. All this after making the buying process more difficult through the inability to accept credit cards.

Hey, we all have off days, but something tells me, this wasn't off day related. This is about crappy communication skills on the part of someone with a clear customer service role in his organization.

When you just do "okay" in what you do, this is the kind of customer service experience that makes finding somebody else to work with a really easy decision to make.

Maybe I should send him a one line email: "See you around." - Mike Brown


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