Examples of Outstanding Customer Service: The Cobb

This is a series of posts about great customer service experiences I’ve had. With all this talk about how you can make your business’ customer service and experience better, I think it’s important to give some real-life experiences and learn from the examples set by others. I think we’ve all encountered that special person who went above and beyond  and these are the individuals who really embody excellent customer service. As you form your customer service team and develop the customer experience for your business, I hope these examples inspire you to move beyond the standard and set the bar just a little higher for the next businesses to come.

Please feel free to share your own experience of outstanding customer service in the comments section, names of the individuals and/or companies are strongly encouraged! (please no negative comments, I’d like to keep this series about acknowledging wonderful service rather than identifying crappy experiences, even though I know we’ve all had them).

The Cobb Apartments – Tori (Leasing Manager)

When my boyfriend and I decided to leave beautiful, sunny, always above 70 degrees, Southern California, we debated between San Francisco and Seattle (the cities we grew up in, respectively).  We both knew we wanted to live in a city, not in the suburbs, and Seattle ended up winning out because of the building and price we found.  The Cobb Apartments is a wonderfully restored office building (originally built in 1910) in the heart of downtown Seattle – and when I say the heart, I literally mean it – look up “downtown Seattle” on Google Maps and that little red pin is about 3 blocks away from The Cobb.  When we found The Cobb we were still living in Irvine so we worked with the Leasing Manager, Tori, over the phone and email to find the perfect unit.  Tori was incredible, going over every last detail with us, touring the unit with my parents since we couldn’t be there and even giving us an out-clause in our lease since we were renting the unit “site unseen”. Exemplary customer service? Yes, but just wait, it gets better.

Two weeks later, my boyfriend and I arrived at my parents’ house and drove to the city to finalize our paperwork, sign our lease and collect the keys to our new place.  We found the building easy enough but when it came to parking, we were utterly lost.  Turns out, the neighboring parking garage was actually two separate garages that had been confusingly merged into one.  Attempting to navigate between the two was so mind-boggling I felt the garage was some sick collaboration between Lionel Penrose and M.C. Escher.  Lost in the labyrinth with no way of escaping, we called Tori in the leasing office who tried to guide us without success.  After Tori realized our ineptitude she told us to “stay there” and she would come find us.  I had absolutely no confidence that Tori could find us but, but low and behold, within five minutes of hanging up the phone, Tori walked around the bend in her heels and pant suit, waving her arms and pointing the right direction.  She climbed into our car, introduced herself formally, and had us in the visitor parking spot in about 30 seconds.  I was amazed.  This is one of my favorite examples of above and beyond customer service and Tori is someone I believe all apartment rental managers can learn from.