It’s that time of the year to reveal Naughty and Nice Lists.
This year our family relocated, traveled off shore, celebrated a birthday milestone in Las Vegas, housed in temporary living quarters, and purchased and furnished a house. Our business interactions were greater than usual. Some were pleasant; others not so much. Here’s who left an impression and landed on the lists.
• Patty Bain, Area Sales Manager, Lodging Dynamics Hospitality Group. Patty directed us to ideal temporary housing at the Omaha Towne Place Suites while we were looking for a house. Prior to our relocation, she advised us on how to best use the space and make the most of the temporary status. She greeted us with a welcome basket and checked in on our family often-good ole’ fashioned customer service wins every time! If you or your group needs lodging in Omaha, contact Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Megan Owens, Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, is dynamite! Of all the agents in Omaha, we chose Megan because we consistently favored her listings and the way she staged them for sale. In addition, she was patient with our ever-changing relocation date and very responsive to our communications. Megan’s greatest trait is her superior listening skills. She quickly grasps your housing needs and works tirelessly to find you the ideal location. She has tremendous focus, energy, and business savvy. She’s well networked and respected in the Omaha real estate market. She’s mighty and will not disappoint. Contact Megan.
• First National Bank Omaha has met our mortgage and personal banking needs since the relocation. There’s always a hesitation after moving to find a new bank, especially after we had such an outstanding banker in Lauren at First Premier in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. However, the mortgage banking team led by Becky Sandiland email@example.com couldn’t have done one thing better to land on this Nice List. Without a doubt, this financing experience was the best we’ve ever had! It was so favorable that we decided to do our personal banking there with Faye Gerteisen firstname.lastname@example.org. Hats off to First National Bank Omaha for hiring great staff, training them well and then allowing them to serve customers in a way that retains them for a lifetime.
• Looking good makes you feel good and Ashly, Designer, at Beauty First Nebraska keeps us presentable. She’s cheerful, enthusiastic, and just a great all-around stylist. Start 2016 off with a new cut and style by making an appointment with Ashly at 402.496.1787.
• Susan Anawski, owner of Prestige Travel, has been a life-saver for the traveling Thomason Trio on multiple occasions, and not just in 2015. When an airplane mechanical issue delayed an offshore family trip, Susan, yet again, rescued us and worked magic to get us to our location and secure us vouchers for our next trip. I know many think they can do better than a travel agent, and we did too, until we employed her services and found out why she’s the expert, and we aren’t. Traveling in 2016, contact Susan at 605.367.4000 or email@example.com. No matter where you live, she can gladly assist.
• Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM). What a major disappointment to find out the one you’ve been pining for doesn’t care about you, even after you’ve spent a very large amount of time and money on them. We have placed five orders with NFM and there is a 100% failure rate on post-sale activity. Furniture arrived chipped with the pieces taped to the underside. Others were damaged in the move. Pre-paid assembly was not completed. Scheduled delivery times were off by 8 hours, on and on and on. The worst part of this rude awakening is that the Mart employs some pretty capable designers and sales people. Too bad they aren’t supported with after sale counterparts who share their skill set.
• Hy-Vee. Wow! Major downer! We were introduced to Hy-Vee in Sioux Falls and spent every grocery dollar there. We were so loyal we knew the staff and vice versa. We loved the culture and the way they supported the community. Fast forward to Omaha and the three stores we frequented seem like they’re foreign to the Hy-Vee experience in South Dakota. Let’s just say with so many choices in Omaha, we’ve moved on because our shopping dollar doesn’t seem to be appreciated or valued at the Omaha Hy-Vee stores. We miss “the smile in every aisle.”
• Caesars Palace Lost and Found Department. We stayed in Caesars for Alex’s 21st birthday celebration. Despite the horrible smoke on the no smoking floor and drunken guests pounding on our door on multiple nights, all agreed it was an ideal location. However, never plan to leave anything behind at Caesars because you won’t get it back. Ever. A necklace was left when we checked out before 6 am. We called from the airport gate and followed all of the correct procedures. It took days to hear back from the hotel and when we did it was through a form email. Three weeks later, the case remained open. We know it’s never being returned. Ironically, when we checked in, we found the previous guest’s credit card on the closet floor. Knowing that not everyone is always honest, we called the card company and informed them of our finding rather than return the card to the lost and found department. Foreshadowing at its finest. Lesson learned-never travel with something you cannot part with.
Straddling both lists is Delta Airlines. They cost my family a day at an offshore resort because of mechanical failure discovered by pilots before we were to leave on the first flight out of Omaha. Per the pilot, the issues should’ve been noticed and fixed the evening before. Yikes! However, Delta did right by speaking the truth during the day-long delay and issued travel vouchers for future travel to all passengers. On another trip, Delta baggage handlers destroyed our luggage. Once again, they processed the claim in a fair and expedient manner and offered what seemed to be a sincere apology for the damage. So even when a company makes mistakes, and they all do because humans work there, if they acknowledge their mistakes and make reasonable amends and explanations, it sits better with the consumer, or at least this one.
Who lands on your Nice List? Who is on your Naughty List? Have you told them? It is my policy to always inform a company when they are about to lose my business. Hy-Vee, Caesars and the Nebraska Furniture Mart were each contacted and reasons for the loss explained. As a former CEO and small business owner, I value customer feedback-good and bad. Wouldn’t it be an ideal world if all businesses did? If someone provides you exceptional service, let that be known as well. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, even at work.
Let’s hope your Nice List has more members than your Naughty List and that those on this Naughty List will work hard to make the Nice List in 2016.
©Copyright. December 2015. Linda Leier Thomason
All Rights Reserved.