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Splendid service shoutout

Customer service is a difficult job — ask anyone who has taken a phone call from an unhappy customer. I myself have fielded those questions both during my college workforce experiences and in my career in journalism.

Most people who take the time to contact you are usually unhappy. Very rarely do people call in with compliments, myself included. If I’m happy with an experience, I go about my day with a good attitude and maybe a simple thank you as I leave. However, if I am unhappy, it is the motivation I need to make an extra visit or call to customer service.

There have been times when I do compliment those hard workers who do everything in their power to make a customer’s experience a good one. I learned that from my mom. One example showcases just the kind of person my mom is. During one of our Black Friday shopping experiences, she took the time to walk up to a store employee and thank them for a job well done. I’ll never forget the look of relief and gratitude on that woman’s face.

I have my own stellar customer service story to tell.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience at the “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: In Concert” performance Feb. 2 at the Des Moines Civic Center. I got so caught up in my Harry Potter history, I didn’t have the space to mention one very important detail of the night, the quality service my family received from the Civic Center box office and door staff.

You may remember in January, I wrote about my father’s recent hip replacement surgery. We had purchased the tickets for the symphony show in April of last year, not knowing his surgery would land just weeks before the whole family was supposed to make the trip to Des Moines.

Dad wasn’t going to be able to go with the seats we had. He mentioned not long after his surgery we may have to sell his ticket if he wasn’t able to go. I wasn’t going to have it.

I reached out to the Civic Center staff to try to work out a solution. The woman who answered the phone was extremely friendly and knew just what to do to help me. I wish I had written down her name, so I could give her a shout-out. The theater has several handicapped accessible seats, and after a quick check to be sure there were openings, she transferred two of our already purchased tickets to the accessible seating area. My mom would sit with dad in a “normal” theatre seat and dad would have the option to sit in a chair or his wheelchair for the performance.

Dad hadn’t asked me to do this. I wasn’t sure how he would react when I told him, but I got the reaction for which I was hoping. Dad was thrilled he would still be able to go to the Civic Center. It was going to be his first big outing after his surgery, and he was already pumped to try it. I thought he might have drawbacks about the wheelchair, and luckily, he didn’t. It was a great feeling to give dad something to look forward to when he was originally disappointed about having to miss it.

The evening was a success. Dad had no issues getting to his seat and sat in “one of the most comfortable chairs ever” for the performance. It really was a great birthday present to be able to include my dad as originally planned.

A month after the event, dad still talks about how cool it was he was able to go the Civic Center that evening. Thank you so much to the staff for helping me make that happen.

Contact Pam Rodgers

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