• Laurel Gustafson


On the road, we had VERY little interaction with service providers or companies on a regular basis. We were not committed to any business other than our insurance agents (and good old Uncle Sam come tax time). We did pay $30 a month for our basic phone/text plan but that was coordinated through my mother's plan. Being in Minnesota for the last year, our time often gets soaked up by required service providers of all kinds:

  • Gas Company

  • Electric Company

  • Mortgage Lender

  • Internet Provider

  • Auto Dealer

  • Insurance Agent

  • Auto Repair

  • Plummer

  • Electrician

  • Financial Planner

  • OB/GYN :)

  • Primary Physician

  • Dentist

  • Delivery Drivers

As a company or person providing services to others, it is critical to reach a balance of effective service along with profit. What that service looks like has varied SIGNIFICANTLY from company to company.

Our Internet Provider overpromised and underdelivered; it took MANY calls to correct their mistake.

Our Auto Dealer exceeded our expectations in handling our issue after I was stranded in a vehicle we bought... two hours away from home... when I was 8 months pregnant... on the hottest day in summer.

The seller's realtor dealt poorly with a plumbing issue after closing; requesting Nate to be home when he was supposed to be at work. It was the seller's delay in fixing a problem they should have fixed before closing.

A retail manager showed unexpected compassion when one of their products didn't meet my expectations. I imagine a few of your own situations are coming to mind. There are differences in the tone of voice, the response time, the exaggeration of promises. When I think about it, these are all people trying to get a job done; probably to get a paycheck to bring home to the place they call home. Some jobs are ridiculously tough and I'm well aware of what it's like to work in a call center (incoming and outgoing). Yet still, we have a choice of how we respond to others. On both sides. Customer. Provider. Choose respect, honesty, and efficiency. I think you'll both win. And for goodness sake, take an extra moment to highlight those who have taken good care of you!


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