Archived Story

Michael Bennett: Good customer service should never be an issue

Published 9:12am Thursday, May 23, 2013

On Monday, I had four customer service complaints come to my attention. That’s more than normal and a couple of these complaints were regarding service from our staff.

When manufacturing a product most every day and then throwing it out and starting over again we tend to make mistakes more often then we like.

How we handle these issues should be in our control.

Ultimately, I take responsibility for the actions of the individuals employed by Leader Publications.

One of the complaints was posted on Facebook regarding a classified ad that was posted through our website but wasn’t in Monday’s newspaper.

This happened to be a misunderstanding. FYI — when posting classified ads on our website, it requires two business days to be published in our newspaper. We are working on a program that will eventually change this to a one business day turnaround.

Complaint number two came from an advertiser who ran in Horizons and 13 weeks in the Niles Daily Star.

She requested copies and her sales person neglected to handle this simple request. Shame on us.

Complaint number three came from an individual who has been trying to have a Leader delivered to her house for six weeks without success.

I personally delivered her a copy on Monday after work. Independent contractors deliver the Leader. Since they aren’t employees we can’t do anything other than inform them of the address that was missed. And if the issue continues, we will terminate the contract.

By far, missed delivery of the Leader is the largest complaint we receive.

We don’t know if there is an issue unless we get your call. So call us, but remember, contractors have until Monday morning to complete delivery.

Heck, I lost my cool last week with a caller who was having trouble receiving the Leader.

Yes, I was feeling terrible dealing with an abscessed tooth. Yes, the caller was pushing my buttons.

Still I regret losing my cool. I didn’t get your number but, if you are reading this, I apologize.
Complaint number four came from an individual who placed a wedding announcement and then called our newsroom to provide information regarding her grandmother that she hadn’t originally included.

She called the newsroom after it ran incorrectly. Then she called me as she felt she was treated rudely.

I wasn’t there to witness what went on although if she felt she was treated rudely I’m not going to argue.

We will make her happy with a special wedding announcement correction in tomorrow’s Dowagiac Daily News.

While we will continue to improve customer service, it is inevitable we will make mistakes, so let me apologize in advance. Good customer service should never be an issue. But, if it is, you know where to reach me.

Michael Bennett can be reached at or  (269) 687-7700.

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