17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.
 

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This Mom Appreciates Good Customer Service

My dh and I constantly complain about the lack of good customer service these days. It could be our increasing age that has made us more grumpy when things don't go our way as we deal with various businesses. Whatever the case, I really feel like most companies don't care much about pleasing their customers. I can't imagine this being a good business practice, so maybe they aren't able to motivate their employees to care about pleasing the customers. Who knows.

What I do know is that as a mother of two children, they are the new customers. Because when they are happy, mom is happy. And when mom is happy, mom can continue to shop without dragging a screaming child out of a grocery store, leaving her full cart in the frozen food aisle (not that this has ever happened).

If you make me feel like my children are not welcome at your place of business, it is most likely I will never return. And I will probably talk bad about you to all my friends. And I have a lot of friends so this should scare you.

If you feel you must follow my baby and I around to make sure she doesn't brake anything in your $1 store, I might throw wrapping paper at you and slam the contents of my coin purse on your counter while yelling like a crazy person that while my baby did not ruin your $1 roll of wrapping paper, I will pay you for it anyway just so you will leave me alone! (not that this ever happened and even if it did, there are no witnesses, especially no friend on the other end of the cell phone wondering what in the heck is going on).

Anyhoo, for the companies that have gone above and beyond in making me and my children feel welcome, I salute you. I would like to give shout out to a few specific businesses who have shown an excellence in customer service to this mom (and her children) in the past month:

Old Navy in Concord, CA - They have put together a kids play area in their fitting room that occupies children so mom can actually try on a few things.

Mimi's Cafe in Chino CA - I have since heard this kind of service is chain-wide, but I have only been to this one Mimi's and here is what I found. They bring out a snack plate for the kids right after you sit down -cheerios, little bits of fruit. Perfect to keep them calm until their food arrives. We also told our waiter it was our first time to Mimi's and he gave us four complimentary muffins to take home at the end of our meal. So Yummy!

Trader Joes, CA - While I can't even begin to count the ways in which I love Trader Joe's, I will say that the bribes they provide for my children (in the form of stickers, balloons, food and juice) make grocery shopping with my kids an enjoyable experience.

Westfield Mall, Santa Anita - I love the family lounge you have created with the excellent changing area and tiny toilets for my kids. And the free car strollers for rent allow me to shop a little longer (which is why you probably make them available--more shopping=more money) before my kids freak out and want to go to the mall playground or start screaming for a Happy Meal "Pleeeeeeasssssssse!".

My Chiropractic Office
, CA - I showed up one day for an adjustment and the woman who ran the front desk (who was really great with kids) told me that today she was going to take care of them for the next 1/2 hour so I could have a massage. God bless you.

T Mobile
- I just changed cell phone providers and cell phones. I had my two kids with me and as I pulled my pristine new phone out of it's box in front of the salesperson. I turned to my 18 month old daughter "This is mommy's. You can't ruin this one with your spit like you did my 2 previous phones". Right then the salesperson said, "I know exactly what you mean. I have a little boy." He told me to hold on a second while he ran to the back. He came back holding two "dummy" cellphones (the ones that looks like real ones, but they use them for displays). He handed one to each of my daughters and said "These are for you". The one he handed my 18 month old was the EXACT model as my new phone. BRILLIANT! It has been over a month and she hasn't touched mine yet.

Any other stories out there for excellence in customer service for moms? I would love to give them my business.

12 Comments:

  • I haven't used Wachovia for their personal banking, but we did obtain a home mortgage through them. While filling out some paperwork to qualify for our loan my dd was going to town trying to nurse on my right bicep. The loan officer smiled and said, 'I have children of my own, would you like the office to yourself for awhile so you can feed her?' It was so wonderful because in those days I leaked like crazy, even with nursing pads, and if my milk let down in public--watch out niagara falls!
    posted by Blogger Tally Girl at 5/02/2007 09:38:00 AM  



  • Woodranch BBQ and Cheesecake Factory are two other restaurants that offer toddler plates if you ask for them.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/02/2007 09:59:00 AM  



  • I totally want to shop where you do, Carrie! Sounds awesome. I used to bank at Washinton Mutual--they have a great kids play area--toddler toys and the like plus 2 game boys. My kids didn't want to leave the bank!
    posted by Blogger Katie at 5/02/2007 11:18:00 AM  



  • My husband and me joke that we reallly don't like people - it's kind of true - and poor customer service irks me like NOTHING else.

    I second the shout out to Trader Joes - I can't say enough great things about that store and the way they take care of my kids when I shop there. In addition to the balloons, stickers and snacks, they let Simon ring the bell for fun (at the cashiers counter) and a few months ago invited my daughter to pick out two toys from their "treasure chest" at the back of the store!

    Love Olive Garden with kids - crayons and coloring books, they bring out the kids meals BEFORE the adult meals so they are occupied quickly.

    Raleys, my other neighborhood grocery store has mini size shopping carts just like the regular ones that say "Shopper in Training" - my son loves to push it around and the store employees make a big deal out of what a great helper he is. And it kind of teaches him how to shop for food!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/02/2007 11:58:00 AM  



  • Yes, Mimi's is that way everywhere (and we love to go!)

    My neighborhood grocery store also does free balloons and even has fruit, like orange wedges out to sample.

    I've had good and bad airline experiences. There were a few flight attendants on a Delta flight I took that were incredible with my then 2.5 yr old. I love that Southwest lets us board early to pick out the best seat for us and to get settled before the crowds.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 5/02/2007 01:16:00 PM  



  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 5/02/2007 01:17:00 PM  



  • Add my Kudos to both Southwest Airlines (YAY! preboarding!) and Trader Joes- let me count the ways in which I love them...

    Also, here in the Northwest we have a store called Fred Meyer- it's a mega store with groceries, lots of organic stuff and something akin to Target. The best thing in all creation is their Playland. Kids from 2-6 can go in a playarea with toys, movies and supervision, they get a wrist band and you get matching ones, and you can SHOP WITHOUT YOUR KIDS for a whole hour. Bliss.

    Fred Meyer gets all my grocery budget every month; and a fair part of what I used to give to Target. If you know anything about me and my kids in Target, you understand.
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 5/02/2007 01:22:00 PM  



  • Ditto on Mimi's ---LOVED it with my kids (and I thought it was just because I was in Orem...).

    I have to brag that it was because of me that tftcarrie found that Old Navy in Concord...although it really was her suggestion. :)

    I <3 Costco! I really do. And not because they do anything amazing for the kids, but because their carts are so dang big and I can shop with all four of my kids easily (2 in the seat, oldest one walking, baby in snugli). They also always have tons of samples, and my kids just love it.
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 5/02/2007 05:32:00 PM  



  • Katie,
    I have to go to WaMu every month to pay my rent. My kids love it so much I've started going while they're at daycare or I have to drag them out of there! And no-one has ever complained about my boys whooping with joy at the toys. In a bank! Awesome...
    I love Ikea. They WANT you to touch and play with things and they provide little carts for the young'uns. The big kid gets to frolic in a really great playplace, complete with ball pit, and my little guy never leaves empty handed. Even though he's too young to go in the playplace the workers there always make sure they give him an Ikea rubber duck or something else fun. Also, if you need a diaper, they have a whole stash of them to help you out....
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 5/02/2007 06:21:00 PM  



  • Oooooo, thank you for mentioning Ikea, Mo Mommy - I almost forgot my love affair with them. We have two near us and when I go I try to make it at least several hours or the kids are disappointed. Between the play place and the cafe, forget it - heaven for my kids.
    posted by Blogger chloe at 5/02/2007 09:27:00 PM  



  • This post is totally makig me want to try taking my kids to Trader Joes! I am always so afraid to shop with my kids I usually go alone. (So yeah- I don't go very often)
    We have a kids resale chain here called "once upon a child" that I really like to shop at, and they have an entire play area in every store.
    Also nearly all our grocery stores by our house have actual free "babysitting" rooms that are basically a play room with lots of toys, tv with movies, even video game moniters. I will admit, though, that I get a little freaked out thinking about leaving my child even for a few minutes attended to by a stranger (even if it looks like a friendly older female grocery store emplyee) so I have never taken advantage of those.

    One grocery has special rental car carts that actually have a little tv's playing kids shows.

    I think businesses are getting the message that they need to be more family friendly. Many are- but there's defiately a long way to go!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 5/03/2007 06:56:00 AM  



  • I hear ya about Customer Service. I just hope that when I have my busines that I remember that my 2 best assets are my customers and my employees. You can always tell how the employee is treated by how they treat you.

    Shouts to Trader Joes. Love to go when they have a sample thing going on and I love there cookies and snacks, heck with the organic stuff. :D
    posted by Blogger delilas at 5/03/2007 01:39:00 PM  



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