In a Competitive Industry, Advance Will Never Be #1

Posted On February 9, 2011 By Scott Guercio

I recently called the customer service number of my satellite radio provider to question a charge on my credit card statement.  After finally reaching a person, I explained my reason for calling and was told that I would need to be transferred to another department.  Upon reaching this other department, I asked why my credit card had been charged twice.  I was told that they recognized the problem and would be refunding me the amount of the incorrect charge.  Feeling satisfied with the result, I ended the call.  Sadly, that feeling quickly went away.

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Within 10 minutes, I had lost several of my available channels – my favorite channels.  Shortly thereafter I received a call from my wife, telling me that she wasn’t receiving any channels at all.  Back to the phone I went to ask what happened.  Not surprisingly, I needed to be transferred again, and again.   I ended up spending about 4 hours on the phone, over the next two days, trying to get back the service that I had before they “helped” me.  With satellite radio, I have come to understand that being transferred is code for you are being outsourced, and the result of your call will depend on the degree of the language barrier and overall cultural difference.  Needless to say, my frustration and dissatisfaction with my experience had me considering canceling my service.  With the challenging economic times that we live in, I wondered how a company, whose service could be considered a luxury, could afford to have such poor customer service.  Maybe it’s a result of no direct competition. More importantly, I came away from this experience with a strengthened sense of pride in the company that I work for: Advance.

At Advance, our copier service is handled locally, where you are greeted by people, and not machines.  Advance is so strongly against outsourcing, that we are the only document solutions company in the region to provide our own in-house leasing.  Our culture has been built on a burning desire to satisfy our customers by our President, Alan Elkin, who provides our customers his home phone number, as proof that he will not allow a service need to go unanswered.  Because of this spirit, we offer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.  Visitors to Advance are greeted by employees wearing buttons stating “We’re #2,” but not because we are striving to be #1.  Advance will never be #1, as that is a place that can only be held by our customers.  How refreshing!