Two Tales of Service

The First Tale

Two weeks ago, our AC went out. It was one of the hottest days of the summer, AND I had a painter painting the inside of the house. Not ideal.

I called the AC people, but they couldn't do anything. It was late Friday, of course. This was my third time needing them this summer, so I pushed harder. Both times, the AC had been "fixed" according to the technician. They scheduled a Saturday appointment with the owner of the company.

Unfortunately, when he arrived on Saturday, the news was not good. We needed a new blower motor. Warehouses were closed, assuming anyone had one in stock to begin with.

I'd already lost my voice and was developing a cough due to paint dust and open windows. The next day wasn't any cooler. Sometimes, it was better on the porch than inside. We decided to stay in a hotel.

Three different times, they came to replace the motor. The first two times, I raced from the hotel to meet them at my house. Both times, they had the wrong motor. The third motor took two days to get here even though it was overnighted. At least, it finally did the trick. We went 7 days without AC and spent three nights in a hotel.

I won't harp on the disastrous way the AC company handled the situation. I teach customer service workshops, and I can tell you they failed on so many points. Maybe they couldn't control receiving the wrong part, but they could control how they communicated bad news with me. It wasn't good.

What I will do is sing the praises of the hotel where we stayed. If you ever need to stay in a hotel in Greenville, SC, go to the Homewood Suites on Carolina Point Parkway. They treated us so well and bent over backwards to make sure we had as little worries in a stressful situation as possible.

The Second Tale

From the day we walked in the door, sweaty and tired, the employees at Homewood Suites made us feel welcome. Thanks to the two times we thought we had the blower motor for the AC, we found ourselves hustling to rebook. They made the process so easy and worked it out with as little stress as possible. 


  • Greeted us by name and with a smile
  • Proactively worked on alternate rebooking plans if the AC didn't get fixed
  • Checked on us
  • Empathized with us
  • Made rebooking easy (it's worth repeating since they did this twice)
  • Took care of us
  • Made us feel like family
  • Loved on our dog
  • Helped our grands with the waffle maker at breakfast
  • Gave us snacks
  • Invited us to share their potluck lunch celebration (I didn't accept because I had to meet the AC tech)
  • Offered to buy me almond milk when I ran out of mine
  • Bent over backwards even though we didn't ask them to
  • Saved my special giraffe tumbler and some grapes that I accidentally left behind after we finally did check out

 I have never been so impressed by a hotel in my whole life! That's saying a lot because I used to travel extensively for work. I've stayed in some really nice hotels over the years, too.

In today's service environment, this kind of attention to the customer is almost impossible to find. I don't know how the hotel pulled this off, but this level of service points to employees being valued for their time and effort. They went way beyond the norm to make a horrible week a little bit better.

So on one end of the spectrum, we experienced some of the absolute worse customer service ever from our AC provider, but on the extreme other end, we experienced the most amazing customer service and empathy and care. It goes to show you, you never know when you might make someone's day a bit better.


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