Tag Archives: Customer

Top Nine Ways To Celebrate The Valentine’s Day Long Weekend

Valentine’s Day (or as some people like to call it, the International Day of Love) is almost here, and we have you covered for great ideas to celebrate. Whether you are spending some quality alone time, hanging out with your friends or with that special someone, here are SQM’s top nine ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2020. 

“Pal-entine’s” Day.

Who says Valentine’s Day needs to be all about romance, candlelit dinners and flowers? Grab your friends, order a pizza and dessert and have yourselves a party. Celebrate your friendship having a board game night, having a movie marathon with your favourite rom-coms or sci-fi flicks, or complete a thousand-piece puzzle. Take time to celebrate your friendship and enjoy each other’s company. 

Ikea Date

This year, Ikea is rolling out the red carpet by offering a three-course meal, all for the low low price of $29.99 for members and $34.99 for non-members. Enjoy a dinner for two and then have the time of your life roaming the store looking for the great next purchase. 

Dinner and a Show

This is a classic date night option for a reason. It gives you and that special someone a reason to get dressed up, eat a delicious meal, talk about the meaning of life while staring deeply into each other’s eyes. Obviously, this will all be done over a shared plate of spaghetti (a la The Lady and the Tramp) before going to enjoy a night of cinematic excitement, artistic talent or theatrical drama. Check your local listings for great shows and performances scheduled around Valentine’s Day.

Take A Class Together

Get out of your comfort zone and bond with the ones you love by checking out a new activity together. Whether that’s trying out a cooking class to teach you the skills to master that Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe, busting out a dance move or two at a salsa or ballroom dance class, or learning to find your inner peace through meditation and yoga.

Weekend Getaway

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get away for the weekend. Lucky for you, this year Valentine’s Day falls right before the Family Day long weekend. Take this opportunity to head out of the city for a cozy getaway with that special someone. Visit Montreal to experience the architecture, food and culture, or go to Blue Mountain for skiing. If neither of those options sound like your cup of tea, try going to the wine country and see if you can book a wine tasting tour.

Recreate your first date or favourite date

A wonderful and meaningful way to spend your Valentine’s Day with that special someone is recreating your first date. It is such a romantic and thoughtful gesture that really shows that you care.

NBA All-Star Weekend

For all you basketball fans, whether you’re #TeamGiannis or #TeamLeBron, get together with your friends and family to cheer on your team this Sunday!

Give Back

During the season of love, show how much you love and care about your community by giving back. Grab your friends, family and partner and volunteer to help the less fortunate.

Treat Yourself: Self Love

Take some time out of your busy schedule and treat yourself with some “me time” and self-care. Whether that means, getting a massage or your nails done, having a quiet night in or treating yourself to a new book or sweater, take the time to appreciate yourself and all the hard work that you do throughout the year.

 

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Leaving The Competition In The Dust

For my last blog, I highlighted a family-run dry cleaning business so while I’m on the topic of household-related items I wanted to talk about a family-run appliance repair store called York Appliance Vacuums.

The first time I visited the store, I happened to be in the area and so stopped in, as I was having problems with my Shop-Vac. I was very pleased that within 10 minutes, they were able to fix my problem efficiently and at a reasonable price. In fact, I was even given a longer cord to replace my other one, making it much better.

In more recent times, I was having trouble with my Dyson vacuum, so I called up York Appliance to ask for help, as I’ve been pleased with their service in the past. They don’t normally work on Dyson vacuums (Dyson apparently does their own repairs) but they took the time to look at it for about 15 minutes and gave me suggestions and ideas that might fix the problem.

Often these days in business, people are just looking for instant gratification and hang up the phone if they don’t get a sale right away. Even though this call would not result in a sale, the owner spent some time to keep a customer like myself happy and engaged.

If you’re looking to support a family business, or for a reputable place to buy, service, or fix your vacuums, take a look at York Appliance.

York Appliance Vacuums
416-488-3231
https://yorkappliance.ca/

 

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Clean-Cut Customer Service

As much as I’m trying to share information about companies that are across Canada and North America, I do like to occasionally give a shout out to local businesses that I’m familiar with.  One such company is Stork Cleaners, a laundry and dry cleaning business that’s been serving the local community since 1964.

Stork Cleaners happens to be owned by a gentleman named Fred, who lives in my neighbourhood.  The store was originally owned by Fred’s dad but is now run by him and his sister-in law.  The business has a large following and loyal clientele because they do great work.  Fred even offers a pick-up and drop-off service, knowing that many of his customers are busy and can’t always make it over to the store.  

I personally go to him for my shirts and suits, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people go to him for special items, such as:  wedding dresses, expensive coats, blankets, and other miscellaneous items.

Fred is extremely efficient, organized, and always a pleasure to deal with. If you happen to lose your ticket, Fred keeps his own records so that he can easily keep track of everything and find your items.  If you’re in a time crunch, Fred will do his best to make things work and will package or put your clothes on hangers depending on your preferences. On top of that, he’s very reasonably priced and easy to work with.

For someone looking for a cleaner or to wash more delicate items, I’d suggest Fred and the team at Stork Cleaners.

Stork Cleaners
416-635-0550
storkcleaners.com

 

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Leitner Headsets Stands Behind their Product

Although my blogs are often related to the Toronto area, or the region I live in, SQM is an international company, so I’m always excited when I have the chance to spread the word about businesses in other areas of the world.  Today, I’m glad to be able to put a spotlight on a company that is based in the United States, and ships their product to many other countries. 

Since I spend a good chunk of the day on the telephone, a number of years ago I decided that instead of straining my neck, I’d start using a headset (on a related note, wow does it make a difference….it is much more comfortable).  While I have had several different headsets over the past decade, last year my business partner hooked up a wireless version that is built by a company called Leitner Headsets.  The base is actually plugged into the phone, but the headset itself has no wires attached, and is charged when sitting on the base. 

While the headset is quite comfortable and reliable, over the past couple of months an issue has come up where the headset disconnects, lights flash, and it doesn’t work.  Since the headset wasn’t even a year old, I was getting mildly irritated, as I thought it would be a pain to fix, since the product was from the United States.  Nonetheless, I decided to call up Leitner Headsets to see what could be done.  On the first call, I was quickly connected to a gentleman, who immediately found my account.  He was extremely pleasant to deal with, and since he seemed to be quite knowledgeable, we ended up trying to troubleshoot to see if he could guide me through fixing the problem.  At the end of a short call, he told me that someone would check back with me in a couple of days to see if the issue was resolved, and if it wasn’t they would simply send me out a new headset. 

The very next day, the initial problem occurred again, but before I called them back, I decided to wait to see if I would get a call.  I didn’t expect anyone to call me back, but sure enough two days later, on the day that they said they would follow up with me, they actually did!  This second employee seemed confident that she could fix the issues, she asked if it would be okay to take me through some additional steps before sending me out a replacement headset.  Since the staff have a-can do attitude and the issues weren’t mission critical, I was fine with giving it another shot.

Again, the fix seemed to work for a couple of days and then I started running into the same issues again.  A few days later, I received another follow-up call, and when I explained to them it was still broken, they immediately said that they would send me a new headset. 

After the call, I received a couple of emails, including a note indicating that my headset was on the way, as well as a status update, and although they indicated that it may take up to a week before the new headset would arrive, three days later I received the package.  Even the package showed me that I was dealing with a customer-centric organization, as there were two stickers on the outside of the box.  The first, indicated that the package was “picked with customer love by Mitch” and “thanks for being a loyal customer since 2018” 

But that’s not all!  On the day that I finally got around to opening the box, much to my surprise, the company includes a handful of candies in the package  I can’t recall every receiving an added surprise, like this, and this small gesture certainly put a smile on my face. 

For these days where I’ve often said that successful companies stand behind their product, Leitner was great at troubleshooting and when they realized that wasn’t going to work, they sent me a replacement with no fuss, meaning no stress on my end. They have a great product and clearly a great culture that is focussed on customer service.  They are a pleasure to deal with, and I highly recommend them your headset and telecommunications needs. 

Leitner Headsets 
212-230-4525 
leitnerheadsets.com

 

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Unparalleled Experience

Several months ago, I heard about a popular Middle Eastern restaurant that had opened up in Toronto called Parallel. The restaurant is owned by the Ozery Brothers, of Ozery Bakery fame, and the creators behind the popular pitas that are available across the country and in some select locations in the United States. The Ozery Bakery has been around for more than 20 years and has grown from a small family owned bakery to a staple for alternative bread products. The Ozery Brothers’ new restaurant is sure to become a staple for Middle Eastern cuisine due to the great food, wonderful ambiance, and the overall unique experience that it has to offer.

Where the Ozery Bakery was the creation of just Alon and Guy; Parallel is a collaboration between Alon, Guy and their brother, Aharon. The addition of Aharon is apparent in how the space, location, and ambiance of the restaurant differs from that of Ozery Bakery. By having the three brothers all collaborate together, putting their individual skills and tastes into the restaurant, they have created a restaurant that is bursting with flavour and style.

Parallel itself is a small, open concept space that seats about 75 people. An interesting aspect of the restaurant is that it backs onto the kitchen, allowing diners to see what is happening behind the scenes. The decoration is minimal, though the art pieces that are on the walls, are statement pieces and draw the eye. The high ceilings and the trains that can be seen through the window, give the restaurant a chic, yet warm, ambiance that is reminiscent of a working, living warehouse.

Now, don’t be fooled by the location or the modern ambiance. The food is steeped in tradition, and the dining experience is based in community. The menu is all about shareable items and diners can share beer and food with the table. This adds to the overall experience and charm of the restaurant and makes Parallel a great place for a friendly get together, a date, or a relaxing night out.

The menu offers dishes that suit all likes and dietary lifestyles. Parallel offers gluten free, vegetarian and vegan friendly options, while also offering a selection of diary, gluten and meat dishes. The menu is not overly extensive, but there is enough variety that diners feel like that they can sample a wide variety of flavourful food, and non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.

The acquaintance who told me about the new restaurant raved about how great it was and told me that they had already decided to go back. They were very excited, but there was a problem; it was so busy, they had to make a reservation a couple of weeks in advance and they didn’t know if they would be able to wait that long. Now I don’t know about you, but when there is a wait list that long, I know that I have to go and see for myself what the craze is about.

So that’s exactly what I did… two weeks after I had made my own reservation.

When I arrived, my guest and I were immediately greeted and escorted to a table that had already been set. The server was great; they were personable, friendly, and full of suggestions. There was a great variety of food and beverages available, and the atmosphere was lively. The Parallel salad was tasty, and the fried cauliflower was amazing! The mushroom dish was unique and delicious. The flavours of each dish were mouth-watering and memorable. They were plated attractively and were a decent portion size; though, I will admit that I found the restaurant to be a little bit on the expensive side, the food and the experience was well worth the money. I can’t wait to go back again and explore more of their menu, because if the food is as flavourful as the cauliflower or the salad, I know that I am in for an exciting treat.

Living in Toronto means that there are tens of thousands of restaurants that are available to choose from; and it has become increasingly difficult to find a unique, fun, and delicious restaurant that stands out. That being said, Parallel is one of those restaurants that is unique, memorable, and different, and in my humble opinion, everyone should try it and see for themselves how great it is.

Parallel is closed Monday and Tuesday, but it is open every other day of the week, offering both brunch and dinner. So, whether you are looking to try a new type of cuisine, impress a dinner date, or have a fun, relaxing brunch with friends or family, Parallel is unparalleled in providing great food and a great atmosphere, and you should definitely stop by to check it out.

Parallel
(416) 516-7765
www.parallelbrothers.com

 

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Buckling Down the Best Customer Service

From time to time, I’ve purchased various products, either online or at one of their few retail stores in Canada, at The North Face.  The company has anything from casual clothes, outdoorsy-type of clothes, sporting equipment, camping gear, and more. 

Back in 2016, my wife bought me three pairs of shorts. They were all stylish and comfortable, and came in various different colours. While the shorts currently look as good as new, I had a slight problem, last year when part of the plastic on the belt wore down, resulting in the buckle no longer staying connected.  I called up The North Face to see about purchase a new buckle, but it turns out they’ve changed the style to a different buckle that would no longer fit my shorts. In fact, even when I first visited the store, one of the employees I talked to was willing to replace the buckles right then and there, until we realized it wasn’t going to fit. 

Because it was near the end of the summer, their parts department didn’t have my type of buckle stocked, but told me to keep in touch and when the parts came, they’d send them to me.   As time passed, our interactions turned into quite the comedy, as on three separate occasions they sent me the wrong type of buckle.  At one point, I even sent them pictures to describe exactly what I needed, however, I would still end up with the wrong items.  In the end they finally figured out what I needed, and sent me two of the three buckles (because they only had two).  While that would have been more than enough (I could always take off the belts to use with the other pair) the went one step further and offered me a free pair of shorts for the long delay and the inconvenience. 

The moral of the story is that I had often heard The North Face has great products, and as often with companies with good products, they stand behind their brand with great customer service.  Whether it was in-person at one of their stores, speaking to their Canadian head office in Montreal, connecting with their call centre or online exchanges, I’ve had consistently good experience from them.  All employees have a can-do attitude and truly aim to please. 

If you’re looking for great customer service along with great clothing products, check out The North Face. 

The North Face Canada 
514-404-4896 
https://www.thenorthface.com/en_ca/homepage.html

 

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Good Customer Service is Only a Phone Call Away

My story starts out a number of weeks ago, when I was having problems with my cell phone….had encountered the black screen of death! 

I took the phone to one of my suppliers and he indicated that I was having a software problem.  When I got the phone back, it seemed as if he had corrected the issue, and the screen of death was gone, but I now noticed a pressure crack on my screen.  After speaking to someone else, I was told that the LED bleeding was only going to get worse, and eventually take over the entire screen unless I fixed it. 

With that in mind, I took it to neighborhood store, called UBREAKIFIX, where I met Steve.  Steve was a nice fellow, and told me that he would only fix my screen if he could also clear all of the remaining software issues.  He took some time to run a diagnostic, and with my approval, decided to reset / wipe my phone. 

After he did all of this, I decided to make a call to Rogers (another blog) before I spent the money on a new screen, because replacing it is fairly expensive.  My contact at Rogers managed to get me a new phone, at no charge, and as a result I did not have to incur the costs of putting a new screen on my old phone. 

While there was no guarantee that if he fixed my software problem, he could fix my screen, Steve spent a lot of time trying to help me out. In a day and age where businesses know what they want and how to get it, and have this “what’s in it for me” mentality, Steve took the long-term approach to building a relationship with the customer as opposed to trying to make the quick sale. 

While this situation didn’t result in a sale for Steve at this particular time, I’ve already shared my experience with friends and colleagues and recommended Steve’s store.  Of course, I will definitely use his services in the future as well. 

For any electronic or technical challenges, Steve and the team at UBREAKIFIX are efficient, kind, and a pleasure to deal with. 

UBREAKIFIX 
416-483-3773 
https://www.ubreakifix.com/ca

 

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