Sometimes you find excellent customer service in the most unlikely places. That's what I'd like to tell you about today.
Just over four years ago, I left the state of Washington for the desert of southern Utah. In addition to trading the mild Seattle climate for the scorching summers of Utah, I was now on the hook to pay state income tax. Washington finds a way to extract their pound of flesh through higher sales and property taxes, but completing my taxes was easier in Washington because all I had to worry about was what I owed the IRS.
When I arrived in Utah, I applied for a business license and an EIN number. When my business license arrived, the state sent along a list of resources to help me understand the state tax regulation for a small business. It felt overwhelming.
But one piece of paper stood out among the paper pile: a yellow sticky with a 1-800 number and the words, "If you have any questions, call us at the Utah State Tax Commission."
I set the sticky aside and filed everything else away.
Over the past four years, I've called that number with every off-the-wall question only a novice business owner could have. And each time a friendly person has answered the phone. No frustrating phone trees. No voicemail. No, "Your call is important to us." I call, and within a ring of two, someone helpful answers. Not once have they made me feel stupid. At the end of each call, I had an answer to my question.
Having worked for a number of companies that provide tech support by phone, I know it's not easy to find people who enjoy helping customers by phone. We've all done business with companies that make it all too easy to give them money, but are impossible to reach when you need assistance.
As I gather customer feedback, I often hear that a deciding factor in choosing to do business with Puget Systems is that a support technician or sales consultant answered the phone. Many are shocked when a person answers the phone instead of going straight to voicemail. Some customers have told me they call our support line before ordering to see if we keep our promises. Smart move!
I still don't enjoy paying state taxes, but it's all made a little easier having a helpful and patient person on the line willing to help me along the way.