Two good user experiences I’ve recently had in unexpected places:
Seattle Cab Drivers
I was in Seattle a couple of weeks ago and over the course of scant two days I took seven cab rides. The surprise? Every single cab driver was:
- Ingratiating and polite
- Chatty in a good way
- Helpful with useful information about the city and places we were going
One or two cab rides on a trip might be the norm for this, but every single one? Since they were all from different companies, something was going on here. Whatever was causing this across-the-board pleasantness, the drivers were great ambassadors for the city of Seattle.
I hate Home Depot. I call it Home Despot. It’s an unpleasant place to shop in - noisy, dirty, overwhelming, and impossible to get anyone to help you, and when they do often as not they don’t know anything about the job you’re trying to do or the materials you want to buy.
So I was delightfully surprised to have a fantastic buying experience when my wife and I were in there last weekend to buy a new fridge and dishwasher (LG by the way, very nice). The clerk who helped us in the appliance department was amazingly good. I was a bit apprehensive at first (shame on me) as he was a bit scruffy looking (and my expectations were low coming in), but boy did he know his stuff.
He went above and beyond by filling out all the necessary rebate forms for us, putting them in envelopes with our return address and the address filled out for where the form was going - all we had to do was stick and stamp on them and get them dropped in a mailbox. This is a process that always takes a long time, so I was grateful for that.
He knew all the details about how the delivery would work and gave us all the tips on how to organize it and inspect the stuff once it arrived.
Then two things happened which broke this fantasy Home Depot experience.
- The clerk said he was probably going to be leaving soon as Home Depot was not a satisfying career path and he wanted to do something more fulfilling (ah, the bane of retail hiring)
- The check-out process for buying some other small items was the usual farce of standing in line and dealing with a slow and gruff counter staff. (I couldn’t use self checkout because of some of the things I was buying, but even then I don’t care for that as something always seems to go wrong. “Seems” being the operative word, I remember strongly the times it does, I forget the times it doesn’t.)