What are we going to accept as service in the future?

By: Dennis Gardiner, Partner email

If any of you have made a purchase at a big-box store lately you can probably relate to what I experienced over a recent weekend. My wife and I went to Lowe’s to order custom blinds for our house. It took four trips to the store to accomplish this task. In our first three trips we encountered no salesperson, an inexperienced salesperson who wasn’t able to help us and computer problems. I shudder to think what we will receive when our order finally arrives. Next, we went to Best Buy to buy an ink cartridge for a printer. Although I had the number of the cartridge I needed, when I found it, my printer was not listed on the side of the box. I asked the salesperson for assistance, and after about five minutes of surfing the web, he determined that I had the correct cartridge. One would think that Best Buy could equip their staff with more time-efficient tool than Google to answer questions. Last, we had a special burger recipe that called for ground beef brisket. When we asked the young man behind the meat counter at Hy-Vee if he would grind some for us, he told us that it would mess up their meat grinder and encouraged us to buy regular hamburger. Is this the level of service we have come to accept–all for a ‘better value’ or the convenience of a one-stop shop? Although I like to think I am not that old, I remember when we went to lumberyards, hardware stores and meat markets for our specific needs, and we received personal service from individuals who knew their merchandise. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have many shops like that anymore. I feel bad for my kids because a ‘lack of personal service’ is what they are going to experience as a norm as they mature– all because it has been run out of town by the big box stores. It’s time to raise our standards. Over forty years ago, Dan Gardiner started the tradition of client service that you have come to expect. It is a tradition we strive to cultivate. Gardiner Thomsen has continued to focus on what we know: farmer cooperatives, credit unions, municipal audits and tax services. We are not trying today’s technology. It is our desire to exceed your expectation every time we provide service to you, and preach that level of service to our younger professionals. Do you wonder where this is going? We will be sending out surveys to the General Managers, CEOs and Auditors of our clients over the coming weeks. We want to hear from you! It is important to us to hear if our service delivery efforts are hitting the mark. So please take a few minutes to complete the surveys, we will use your feedback to continue to improve our client service. We also intend to send a survey out to your Board Chairman. Since, in most cases, we are hired by our client’s board of directors, audit committee or board of supervisors, we want their feedback as well. It is equally important to ensure we are meeting the expectation of these board members. We hope you know that you don’t have to wait to receive a survey to let us know how we are doing. We have long standing relationship with most of you and obviously want to see that continue. So if you feel we aren’t living up to your expectation, give us a call. Feel free to call myself, Dan or Mark Gardiner in Des Moines, IA, or Dave Thomsen in Lincoln, NE. Nothing will make us happier than to be compared to your memories of the local butcher or the service station attendant who used to check your oil and wash your windshield while they were filling your gas tank!

We want to hear from you!

It is important to us to hear if our service delivery efforts are hitting the mark. Please contact us if there is anything we can improve upon.