Lagniappe: HP Costa Rica Call Center

I have always admired Bill Hewlett and David Packard as the icons of the garage startup. Their creation has survived some poor CEO choices over the years. Current financial performance is not pleasing Wall Street. Customer service, however pleases me greatly and consistently. The company has a customer service call center in Costa Rica.
read more

Lagniappe: Jeep and U-Connect’s Lagniappe Level of Service

I was the original ID-10-T problem that early call center tech reps referenced.  In technological malfunction, I may well be the problem. At this point I only call customer tech support when I really need to talk with a live person and have tried multiple other options. Reaching a live person who can help
read more

Lagniappe Stories: Comcast’s Other Side

Each month I pick one business that has provided extraordinary customer service and make a donation to a charity of their choice. You have seen the lists of the most hated companies in America. Comcast is a persistent top place holder on such lists. Disrespecting customers, bad employee relations, poor system maintenance are the
read more

Lagniappe: Customer Service

For those of you who have following my participation in the Café to Café motorcycle challenge, it all came to an unfortunate conclusion the day following our visit with Battalion Chief Mike Smith. A mechanical failure put my two-wheeler on the back of a flatbed transport truck headed many miles south to the only
read more

Lagniappe Stories: The City of Walla Walla

A hundred years ago Mark Twain said, “We picked up one excellent word – a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get… It is the thirteenth roll in a baker’s dozen. It is something thrown in gratis, for good measure.” I also learned the word, ‘lagniappe’, on my first trip to New Orleans.
read more

Central Auto Body

In December many years ago we bought a new Toyota LandCruiser. A month later in January, we took an E-Ticket ride in that LandCruiser courtesy of black ice on the Trans -Canadian highway en-route to a ski adventure at Banff/Lake Louise. This incident was our introduction to Central Auto Body. From then until now
read more

The Harvest Vine – Seattle, WA

I frequently eat in restaurants. As time allows when traveling I search out unique locally owned and well rated restaurants in the cities I visit. Sometimes I find winners and other times I don’t. Given the number of restaurant meals on-the-road, we don’t go out as frequently near home. That said, a local Seattle
read more
executive coach seattle

Windsor Oaks Veterinary Clinic

Lagniappe in Cajun cooking is a little something extra that makes all the difference. Each time we publish for Leaders of Leaders we make a donation to a charity in recognition of something extra service that someone in the Route Two community has experienced. From one of our readers, Dave, in the California wine
read more

Kendall Jackson

In November we did a leadership training event for a sales team in California. We had the good fortune to be able to hold the event at the Kendall Jackson flagship winery in Healdsburg, California. In addition to the classroom leadership development sessions, one of the evenings was devoted to our signature team development
read more

Acura of Lynnwood

Lagniappe in Cajun cooking is a little something extra that makes all the difference. Each time we publish for Leaders of Leaders we make a donation to a charity in recognition of something extra service that someone in the Route Two community has experienced. I take my motor vehicles for granted. I’m persistent with
read more

Moto Guzzi Motorcycles

Things go wrong and customer expectations are missed – sometimes significantly. What matters and what builds customers for life is how these misses are handled. Airlines, banks, insurers would do well to learn from Moto International in Seattle. Dave, Sarah, Micha and the crew are known internationally as a top dealer for Moto Guzzi
read more

McDaniels Do-It Center – “T” & Sharon

I’m a hardware kind of guy. Every weekend I spend time and significant money at McDaniels Do-it Center, one of my favorite businesses. McDaniel’s is unique in that they have floor people who actually know hardware, tools and how to for any home project. McDaniel’s is even more unique in that several of their
read more

Kennewick Best Western – David

I ride a motorcycle and I think that in most cases planning where I will stop for the night constricts the options of a trip. I left late on a recent ride to Hells Canyon. By 10:30pm and numerous calls I learned that a Sting/Police concert and a big horse show had taken virtually
read more

Dell – Lenwood Davis

My expectations for service from telecom and computer companies are not high. I have been shocked recently by several circumstances that are changing my perspective. Recently I opened what appeared to be a CNN news bulletin. Dumb idea! It was a sophisticated piece of malware. Lenwood Davis a Dell Gold Customer service tech rep
read more

Tom Sullivan, DVM

Tom Sullivan, DVM, the animal eye specialist and his support team at Animal Eye Clinic in Seattle have earned the October lagniappe award of a contribution to Seattle Humane Society. Our young male boxer woke up blind several Sunday’s ago. A 75 pound male Boxer crashing into things and getting lost in the yard
read more

Tops Food & Drug – Dale Boedry

Dale Boedry is the produce man at my local grocery. I like to cook so I come in contact with him regularly. He runs a fine shop. Nice country public market-like displays, clean, fresh and an overall pleasant environment. With a full afternoon of cooking ahead I needed a particular item peeled, chopped and
read more

Legacy Medical Center Salmon Creek – Surgical Services Team

There is not much that is more frightening than the diagnosis of brain tumor. The MRI showed the tumor on a Tuesday. It was successfully removed and discovered to be benign on Friday, a very long 72 hours later. This month’s Lagniappe award does not begin to appropriately appreciate the Legacy Salmon Creek Surgical
read more

Lowes Hardware – Chris Espe

Washington’s extreme 2009 winter cold froze and cracked a shower valve in the beach house causing a persistent water leak. It was old and when disassembled showed no brand name or part number to allow a replacement. Visits to specialty plumbing supply houses and several local big-box hardware retailers got no results. John was
read more

McClain Insurance – Claudia McClain & Nick Pembroke

Anticipation. A novel customer service concept. Service that doesn’t just react to a request but lives ahead of the request and anticipates how to best serve the customer. Claudia McClain and her team at McClain Insurance do just that. She is our insurance agent for life. Claudia doesn’t rest on the annuity benefit to
read more

Fluevog Shoes – Clayton & Stephanie

Women buying shoes is a bigger deal than I fully understand. Clayton and Stephanie at the Seattle Fluevog store understand selling shoes. They understand buying shoes. Most importantly they understand how to merge the two and build a long-term customer relationship in the process. The relationship they build is unique, however, in that it
read more

Texas Robert

Robert spends his day as an airport van jockey for a local hotel and his afternoons and evenings waiting tables at Don Carlos Restaurant. The thing about Robert, however is that he doesn’t wait tables, he serves people. He makes sure that diners have an excellent experience. Sharon is a subscriber in Texas and
read more

Jeff Turfarolo DDS

“This is Jelena. I can help you.” This is how the phone is answered in my dentist for life’s office. I like it. Maybe it’s because over the years, the Dr. Jeff Tufarolo team always does help. A family member takes a bite out of the asphalt and the Tufarolo team makes a U-turn
read more

Sonoma Caterers – Amber

His granddaughter’s wedding was one of those magical moments that only comes along a few times in a lucky person’s lifetime. At 88 years of age, the retired minister conducted the ceremony in a nearly-cleared barrel room of a Sonoma County winery. The temperature in a barrel room is good for wine, but not
read more

Les Schwab Tires

Tuesday evening last week, I realized my car battery was getting weak. Early Wednesday morning, I headed to the local Les Schwab tire and accessory shop to get a new battery. I was there at 7am and realized they did not open until 8am. The door was unlocked and the crew was inside preparing
read more

Carmine’s – Goldie

Goldie is a server at Carmine’s on Rush Street in Chicago. Five of us enjoyed many bottles of Chianti and lots of great Italian food at a sidewalk table last Friday night. Great location for watching whatever you like to watch. Goldie, however, is that little something extra that makes all the difference. Like
read more

San Francisco’s The Tablehopper -Marcia Gagliardi

Marcia Gagliardi is The Tablehopper, a San Francisco food writer. She knows what there is to know about the San Francisco restaurant scene. Her edgy and funny book, The Tablehopper, provides dining & drinking recommendations for most any circumstance. Marcia is a character and is Lagniappe personified. If you are headed to San Francisco,
read more

Northern Energy

Northern Energy supplies the Propane that fuels some of our appliances including the cooktop. We have been a customer since building the house 20 years ago and are on a regular refill schedule. Excessive use and exceptional cold over the holidays caused the cooktop flame to go out at breakfast on a day that
read more

PEMCO Insurance

PEMCO insurance is the winner this time. That is unique in that insurance companies tend to be right up there with airlines, banks, and cell phone companies on the Wall of Shame of customer service. Not so PEMCO. Last year PEMCO made a mistake with our auto insurance account. A mistake is not a
read more

Milts Body Shop Inc, Omaha Nebraska

A big thanks to friend and subscriber Andrea, an Omaha business owner in for this lagniappe story. Her fine German automobile was damaged in a hailstorm.  A friend told her the only place to take it is Milt’s Body Shop in Omaha, Nebraska. The Results: Wow… they were great! .  They took a quick
read more

Les Schwab, Yakima

The young family took a trip over the mountains and through the woods to grandparent’s house with the little boy (14 months) securely in car seat. The family car had been in the Dealer’s shop for routine maintenance including new brakes the prior week. After two hours at 70 mph the family had crossed
read more

Southwest Airlines

I presented a keynote talk at a corporate convention in Texas recently. One of the components of this particular presentation is an all participant exercise about Hall of Fame vs Wall of Shame customer service specific to leadership. From ten finalist companies, Southwest Airlines was the overwhelming winner. Yes, this was Texas, and the
read more

Johnnie’s Pastrami in Culver City, California

Johnnie’s Pastrami in Culver City, California is this month’s Lagniappe winner. A big thanks to recent Global Leadership Program participant Yoshio for the story. Johnnie’s Pastrami has been in the same spot on Sepulveda Blvd since 1954.  The place is completely an anachronism, a horseshoe counter with a few tables along the outside, a
read more

Edwards House in Fort Collins, Colorado

I have spent 18 days working in Colorado this year. Most of those nights were spent at Edwards House in Fort Collins, CO. This was not only my lodging but also the place where colleague Richard and I led sixty leaders of leaders from nine countries through the Global Leadership Training program. The something
read more

Barrier Motors in Bellevue WA

Buying a new car has a long history of being a trying, negative experience. The stereotypes persist for those of us who have bought many cars over many years. Four or five guys smoking and joking under the awning in front of the dealership and it goes downhill from there. Not so for reader
read more

Alaska Airlines

I made a mistake and ended up scheduled to depart Seattle for Dallas at 11:40 pm when I thought I was leaving at 11:40 am. It was in early November when Hurricane Sandy had wrought destruction to the east coast and pandemonium to air travel nationwide. It was not possible to fix the mistake
read more

Kusler Phamacy

Local entrepreneurs who build good business and do well serving their neighbors are a welcome respite from the others that dominate the landscape. Those that thrive against the mega-corporate competition are superstars. Kusler’s Pharmacy is my local superstar. Janet is the entrepreneur that returned to town after selling another successful business she had founded.
read more

Umbra Group

This month’s Lagniappe contribution is in honor of the wonderful country of Italy. I recently spent a week with our Italian client’s executive team at their headquarters in Italy. I experienced a full measure of legendary Italian hospitality. From the friendship of enjoying family dinners, to the cordiality of multiple discussions with executives and
read more