You know what's a dying art? Good customer service. I noticed it a bit when Pickles was talking about getting his Time Warner cable switched to a different apartment in the same building. He called up and was informed the wait time was pretty long, so they'd call him back in 45 minutes. 3 hours later they finally call him, and inform him they can't change the cable for 3 weeks. Seriously?? First, how do you not have enough Customer Service people that you can't get back to a caller within 20 minutes. Even worse is that 45 minute wait turns into 3 hours. Now, I understand right now is a busy time for Time Warner, because all the college kids have been moving in the past few weeks and they're getting cable and what not, but do you know what most normal companies do? HIRE SEASONAL HELP. Sheesh, you really can tell when a company has a monopoly in a given area, because they just don't give a crap about the happiness of the customer. This goes even farther to my actual job. My "customers" are actually other people that work for the company, but the general consensus among my co-workers is that "well, our customers have no where else to go for help, so we can take our time doing everything." Apathy is the name of the game. I think a company with great customer service can make up for it's other shortfallings quite well. Knowledgeable employees, an attitude to help the employees reach their ultimate goal, and constant learning from customer feedback is key.
That's the reason I enjoy going to smaller stores and mom & pop shops. In order to keep customers in the world of big box stores and one stop shops, these smaller stores need to have amazing customer service. My dad has a lumberyard up in Edgar, and in order to compete with Home Depot and Menard's they need to have better products and the personal touch that you can't really get elsewhere. He's even gone in to work on Sunday to get someone a few 2x4's or a gallon of paint, because he knows they'll be back for more during the week.
So with this in mind, next time you see someone do a great job at Customer Service let their manager know! It's the only way to perpetuate the good things.