Tag Archives: Customer Relations

How Starbucks Became my “Third Place”

Starbucks Secret Menu

When it comes to my caffeine fix, I will admit that I love Tim Hortons and always go there for my morning coffee. The coffee tastes great and I find it less expensive than many coffee shops.

That said, in more recent times, my visits to Starbucks have become more regular, since my wife and daughter enjoy a number of their drinks, including their “Secret Frappuccino Menu”. In addition, over the last few months, my daughter has asked me to take her to the local Starbucks so she can sip on a beverage and relax in the “big cozy chairs” after a day of skating or other fun activities.

Since I began sharing these experiences with my daughter, I have started to appreciate the Starbucks experience even more. Currently, I frequent my local Starbucks to catch up with friends, have informal business meetings, or get work done without the distractions encountered at my home or office. In fact, between the big cozy chairs, the free Wi-Fi, and some nice music playing, I’m wondering if I really need an office anymore!

During a recent visit, I was surprised to observe how many of the customers at the Bathurst and Joicey location were regulars. What was even more surprising, is how the employees knew many of these people by name, regardless of whether they were a manager, full-time or part-time employee. In addition to the personal touch, I also like how this location usually has seats available. Whether it’s the big cozy chairs, a table for two, or space at the communal desk, they have room for everyone!

I remember Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks saying that his goal was to have Starbucks be the “Third Place” in our lives…home being the first, work second and Starbucks third. Given my recent experiences, I see what he means, and I think that he might have succeeded.

So if you have some time to kill, want to catch up with friends, relax with a book, do some work, or just sip on a tasty drink, check out your local Starbucks.

Starbucks
1-800-782-7282
www.starbucks.ca

 

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Walmart’s Improving Customer Service

While many people shop at Walmart for deals based on low prices (but even that is debatable), I have never heard of anyone recognizing them for providing excellent customer service.  Today, I am going to do just that!

Over the holidays, we were cleaning out my daughter’s dresser drawers and came across a Walmart bag with a new pair of snow pants (with the tags still on) that were purchased last year.  Seeing how my daughter grows really quickly, these brand new snow pants no longer fit, so I decided to take a shot in the dark and brought the snow pants with me on my next trip to Walmart at Bathurst and Centre, to see if I could return them.

Surprisingly, despite it being a busy time of year, the line moved quite quickly.  When I got to the front of the line, I told the woman working that I did not have the receipt, so she tried looking up the snow pants in the system but couldn’t find them.  She then called over a manager who took the pants into the back room and returned saying the item would now scan into the system.  The woman immediately processed the return and gave me a store credit for the value of the pants.

Completely unrelated, a couple days later, my dad gave me a call and told me the bundle buggie I bought him three months earlier was broken since a wheel had fallen off.  I picked up the buggie and took it back to Walmart where I ironically spoke with the same woman who helped me with the snow pants.  She told me to go into the store, grab a new buggie and come back to her desk to process the exchange even though I did not have the receipt….again!

When I returned to her desk, she called over the manager to authorize the exchange, who did so immediately, and within a few minutes I was once again on my way…..and very pleased with how things were handled.

I must say how impressed I am with the employees and managers working at Walmart.  In less than a week, I had two great customer service experiences that demonstrate Walmart stands behind their products.  If Walmart continues to get their customer service right, they are going to be an even more successful company than they already are.

Walmart Canada
1-800-328-0402
www.walmart.ca

 

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Stellar Cellular is Truly Stellar!

Photo of Stellar Cellular's Storefront

Stellar Cellular is a small tech repair shop, located down on College Street near Bathurst.  The shop specializes in fixing mobile phones, tablets and computers, and is owned by Richard Martin, who always goes above and beyond to ensure his customers leave happy.  In 2014, I wrote about Richard when he fixed my Blackberry and gave me back the money I paid him because he felt badly that I had to drive to the store a few times before the service was complete.

Over the recent holiday season, Richard went above and beyond the call to help me, so I felt that I should once again let everyone know what a great business he runs.

Around 5 pm, on the Friday before New Years Eve my wife began having problems with her IPhone where she couldn’t hear anything unless it was on the speaker phone setting.  I told my wife not to worry and I immediately called Richard down at the store.

Since I had a positive experience in the past, I knew Stellar Cellular was where I was going to take my wife’s phone, but I had no idea what time he closes.  When I spoke with Richard that Friday night he told me he was closing up the shop in a few minutes, but asked me how far away I was from the store.  I told him I was about 15 minutes away and he said he would wait for me so he could look at the phone.

Upon arrival, Richard quickly diagnosed and fixed my wife’s phone.  He then realized there was a second problem and he was able to fix it within 30 minutes after we arrived.  When Richard handed the phone back to my wife, she breathed a big sigh of relief.

Let’s be clear though…..not to paint everyone with the same brush, but very few businesses would stay open, on a Friday night….let alone on a holiday weekend….to help their customers out.  Richard has always had the attitude of doing whatever it takes to take care of his customers, and this situation was not a rare event, but a common occurrence based on the way that he conducts business…..well done!

I’m really glad I discovered Stellar Cellular and highly recommend them if you ever need to get your phone repaired.  Their prices are quite reasonable, their staff are very knowledgeable, of course, Richard will do whatever he can to make sure you leave happy.

Stellar Cellular
647-350-7755
www.stellarcellular.ca

 

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Leaside Volleyball Serves Up the Best League in the City

Photo of the Leaside Volleyball Clubs logo and court

Last year my daughter started playing volleyball at the Leaside Volleyball Club.  The league was recommended to me by the Ontario Volleyball Association, so I figured it had to be a good place to start learning about the game.  I was so impressed by the league that I wrote a blog about my experience and wanted to share an update with all of you today.

As my daughter continues to progress in the sport, I realize what a great team of coaches she has access to!  John Child, who played in three Olympic games and won an Olympic bronze medal in 2006, founded Leaside in 2010.  Since then, John has put together a great team of coaches composed of professional volleyball players such as Olympic, Pan Am, and varsity athletes.  In fact, one such Olympian who frequents the club is Heather Bansley, who competed in the 2016 Olympics in the women’s beach volleyball category.

Over the last year my daughter has improved significantly!  Today she is much better at serving, passing the ball, communicating with her team, and bumping the ball over the net to score a point for the team.  I believe my daughter and her teammates’ successes are due to the extraordinary coaches working at Leaside.  Without the extraordinary coaches, my daughter’s skills level would not be where it is today.

At Leaside, the winter season is less busy since some members pick up winter activities like skiing.  This makes it the perfect time of year for beginners to join in on the fun so they can get a little more instruction time and improve their skills before the spring season.  The winter session begins January 8th and I believe the league has already opened online registration.  In addition, they also have a New Years Skill Development clinic from January 2-5, 2017.

For anyone who’s son or daughter has expressed an interest in learning how to play volleyball, or for those that want to take their game to the next level, I highly recommend looking into Leaside Volleyball.

Leaside Volleyball Club
leasidevbc@gmail.com
www.Leasidevolleyball.com

 

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Samsung Just Pulled Me Into the 21st Century

Photo of a Samsung Galaxy S7

Some people might have read in my previous blog posts that I am a big fan of Blackberry. Up to last spring, I was using a very old Blackberry device, and for the most part, while I was with Blackberry, they took really good care of me both with tech support and overall customer service. Unfortunately, Blackberry has changed over the last few years, and it more recent times it became evident that it was time to consider other devices.

During the last few years, I have also put up with a growing list of friends and family who were constantly making fun of my older Blackberry. In fact, my sister-in-law would even make fun of me for using my device because I still called it a phone and didn’t understand the power of what I could do with modern day technology.

A few months ago, after hemming, hawing and researching the subject to death, I finally took the plunge and moved to an android device. In particular, I ended up buying a Samsung Galaxy S7. I know Samsung has been having issues with their Galaxy Note 7 but my research showed me the Galaxy S7 would be a good investment. Within minutes of setting up my device (with the help of my sister-in-law), I realized she was absolutely right! Boy, was I missing out big time… there was a whole new world out there! Whether it’s getting news and sports updates, being able to quickly check the weather, making free long distance phone calls (using Skype and WhatsApp), navigating our congested roads, price matching or finding deals, there is an app for everything!

If my calculations are correct, the amount of money I have saved through price matching and free long distance calls has already more than aid for the phone. In addition to these benefits, the phone is constructed extremely well. It has an amazing camera that creates beautiful photos (who needs a $1000 camera anymore?), is great on speaker phone, looks nice and has an amazing charger that charges my phone quickly so I don’t have to sit there for hours to get my phone up to a 100% charge.

Despite the recent issues surrounding the Galaxy Note 7, I recommend a Samsung product if you are looking to update your phone. For full disclosure, I have done business with Samsung in the past but this had no impact on my decision to purchase the device, or share my experience.

Samsung
1-855-254-4747
www.samsung.com

 

 

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OtterBox’s Phone Cases are Out-of-the-Box!

One of the reasons why I often hesitate to upgrade my mobile phone / devices is because I am quite hard on them, and frequently drop them.

That said, when I recently got my spiffy new Samsung Galazy S7, I knew that I needed to protect it from damages given the cost, and the importance of having a working device.

Soon, after receiving my new phone, my sister-in-law introduced me to a protective case made by a company known as OtterBox. OtterBox cases are shock and drop resistant, and when she showed me her phone covered with one of the cases, I immediately noticed the added weight to an otherwise sleek phone. In addition, the phone certainly didn’t look very attractive, but as my sister-in-law said, “neither does a phone with a cracked screen that is all scratched up”. By the end of the conversation, it was clear to me that this purchase was a no-brainer, and the case was well worth the price.

While I was originally going to order a case online, I decided to call my local Best Buy, who had the case in stock, and was willing to match the online price (kudos to Best Buy for going after sales aggressively). Half an hour later, with some help from the Best Buy staff, I had my phone in the case, and was ready to hit the road.

The quality of the case is truly fantastic, and while a bit challenging to put on the first time, it really does what it is meant to do… protect your device. Although, I would say that when I get dirt on my phone screen, it takes a while to clean it up. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier to clean.

I should also mention that since there are a lot of counterfeit products in the marketplace, I highly recommend spending an extra few dollars and buying it from either OtterBox’s official website or a reputable retailer.

While having a phone encased in something heavy and bulky takes away from its sleekness, it is nonetheless better than a broken phone. Fortunately, I haven’t dropped my new phone yet, however, if and when I do drop it, I know it will be very well protected.

OtterBox
855-688-7269
otterbox.com

 

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Say “Roger, Roger” to Rogers’ Excellent Customer Service

Similar to many other Canadians, I’ve been using Rogers for phone, internet, and cable services for countless years. While I’ve had complaints, I’ve also had good experiences when dealing with some of their great customer service representatives.

Recently, two of my special offers were coming to an end, and I reached out to a representative to see what could be done about the pricing. In addition to receiving help, the representative even went out of their way to assist me in obtaining a new phone, and once I received the new phone (a spiffy, new, Samsung Galaxy S7) the representative helped me figure out all the new features, apps, etc. Being a Blackberry user for the longest time, I really appreciated them making the transition to a new device go as smoothly as possible.

Based on my recent interactions, and how the representatives took care of me, I believe that Rogers is truly making significant improvements in their customer service. In almost all cases, they have been able to help me out and keep me as a satisfied customer.

In the end, despite the ever-evolving world of telecommunications, I think that Rogers will be able to keep up with the needs of their customers.

Rogers Communications
1-855-381-7834
rogers.com

 

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