Customer service – filling a hole

Two weekends ago, I bought a cheap plastic outdoor table and chair set from Clark Rubber. It came complete with an umbrella hole for which I have no need, but I didn’t particularly mind. I was just pleased to find something that was made locally rather than in China.

A week later, I decided to buy another set just like it. When I got the new one home, I noticed it came with a blank to fill in the umbrella hole. It is likely that the first blank went missing when they removed the table from its box, at my request, so it would fit in my car. I thought it would be nice to have the tables completely matching, so I rang the store, explained the situation and asked if they had a spare blank. The manager took my number and said he would have a look and get back to me. Ten minutes later, he rang to say they had been unable to find a spare blank in stock, but that he had taken one from his display table and I could have that. A quarter of an hour later, I had it in my hand.

Take a bow, Clark Rubber in Cannington. You displayed several important traits of excellent customer service.

  • Making yourself available to listen to the customer’s wishes.
  • Understanding those wishes.
  • Acting on those wishes.
  • Responding promptly.
  • Putting the customer’s needs above your own.
  • Showing flexibility in dealing with an issue that fell outside the usual set of circumstances.

It’s only a little piece of plastic, but it reveals a lot. Every time I look at my perfectly matching set of tables, I will remember Clark Rubber, and I will remember it in association with great customer service. I will undoubtedly be back for more products in the future. If only all companies were like that, life would be a lot more pleasant for everybody.


  1. How about a photograph of your matching tables? 😉

Leave a Reply