The NIA Group a Marsh & McClennon Company, has invited Bob McKenzie to be one of their guest speakers for Employee Handbook Seminars to be held on August 10 in
Boca Raton, Florida.

Register Here for Boca

and August 12 in Jacksonville.

Register Here for the Jacksonville Event.


Mark Your Calendar

Tamara Joiner

will be the guest
speaker at the

Network Meeting

to be held on

Friday, August 27th
at 10:30
Southeast Branch
Public Library

10599 Deerwood Park Blvd. in Jacksonville.

The Topic:

"Using Social Media in
Your Job Search"




Our Services Include:

  • Outplacement services
  • HR audits
  • Compliant recordkeeping
  • New employee orientation
  • Customized handbooks
  • Safety programs
  • Resolution of harassment and discrimination complaints
  • Training and development
  • Implementation of Human Resources Information Systems
  • Mergers and acquisitions due diligence
  • Benefits administration
  • Recruitment assistance
  • Compensation administration
  • Unemployment hearings
  • Discipline and termination
  • Coaching and counseling
  • Performance management
  • Employee surveys

Go to www.mckenziehr.com for more information


For no charge you have the opportunity to ask human resources related questions of Bob McKenzie, President of McKenzieHR

To ASK Bob click here


Contact Information

4237 Salisbury Rd, Bld 1, Suite 112
Jacksonville, FL 32216

Phone: (904) 861-2903
Toll-Free: (888) 861-2903

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Customer Service Is Your Competitive Advantage

Americans have started to get used to mediocre customer service and it is a shame. Personally, I am getting angrier every day with the lack of customer service I am getting. With this economy, one would think that businesses would step up their service to their customers as a way to obtain more business.

Example #1 - AT&T
I signed up for unlimited long distance with AT&T over a year ago. For some reason – probably a computer error – many AT&T customers were getting charged 49 cents a minute despite the fact that they signed up for unlimited long distance. McKenzieHR was one of those charged by the minute. When the June bill looked unusually high, I contacted AT&T. As usual, the automated attendant gave me a number of options that did not apply to my situation. Since the automated attendants are now voice activated, I kept saying, "I want to speak to someone" and "Speak to a representative." The AA (Automated Attendant) lady kept telling me that she could not understand my request. I got so frustrated that I actually started raising my voice at the AA lady.

When I finally got to speak with a live person, I was told that I was over-billed by $400 over the last few months. My current bill was $350. The LL (Live Lady) told me I had to pay the entire amount and my credit would be realized over the next few billing cycles.


How is it that one of the largest high tech companies in the world cannot give a small business immediate credit for their billing mistakes? When I told the customer service representative that that her response did not pass the common sense test, she actually agreed. Then she told me I could withhold payment without a penalty. Gee thanks, AT&T overcharges me and I do not have to pay a penalty. Maybe I should charge AT&T a penalty for overcharging me and for my time to straighten out their mistake? But the question is,

"Why did I have to fight for my right not to pay in the first place? AT&T should have been apologizing and doing what they could to make it right – not telling me to pay my bill anyway because their computers can’t handle it."

If this were a company without the long history of AT&T, I’d begin to wonder if this Is this another scam perpetrated by a greedy company to get more money from its customers? In today’s world it is difficult to differentiate between a legitimate mistake and an outright case of fraud.

Example # 2 - The Hilton Garden Vacation Club
I was facilitating an executive retreat for a client in the Hilton Garden Vacation Club across from Sea World in Orlando. My client reserved a block of rooms for the participants who were assigned to specific rooms prior to their arrival. When Chyrle, my wife, and I checked in at 5:00 on a Friday evening, we were told my room was not ready. First of all, it was 5:00 p.m. on a Friday, so why was the room not ready? Then we asked if we could take a room of another individual who had not arrived yet. After 20 minutes of typing on the computer the front desk clerk was finally able to give me the key to room 1018, which was originally assigned to a guy by the name of Jim. The only thing is, they never took Jim’s name off the original room assignment. When Jim checked in, he was given a key to room 1018 too. Not only that, but a third guest was also given a key to room 1018. Jim and the other guest saw suitcases in the room and went back to the front desk to get a different room – preferably one that was vacant.

During the weekend, I wanted to charge things to my room. You guessed it. When they found out I was not Jim, I had to go through the third degree and wait about 10 minutes for them to allow me to charge my room.

"I’m sorry sir, but a man named Jim is assigned to room 1018."

"No." I replied. "I am in room 1018 and my name is Bob."

"No sir, Jim is in room 1018."

"Well my name is Bob and I am not Jim and I assure you that there is no Jim in room 1018. What do I have to do to prove to you that I, Bob McKenzie and my wife, Chyrle are in room 1018?"

The clerk made a call and approved the charge to my room.

Once I bought coffee and the other time cold drinks. By the time I got back to the room, the coffee was cold and the cold drinks were lukewarm.

Example 2A - Hilton
Like most hotels, the Hilton has a coffee maker in the room with coffee packets to brew coffee. My wife and I like to drink coffee and at one point, I walked through the lobby and asked for a couple of coffee packets. The front desk clerk told me I had to call housekeeping. I did not think anything of it until I was half way back to my room. Then I thought to myself, "Shouldn’t the front desk clerk have called housekeeping for me?" Or better yet, "Why didn’t the front lobby have a box of coffee packets behind the counter to give to people who ask?" After all, they have toothbrushes, shaving cream and disposable razors. Why not coffee packets? Hmmm.

Minor Irritations
Neither of these examples would be enough for me to not do business with AT&T or the Hilton, but wouldn’t it be great if I came away feeling good about either of the above experiences. In fact, if the customer service rep at AT&T had said, "I am sorry, sir. I will fix this right away," I would have felt much better. However, I would not have felt as though I had received excellent customer service, because this is the response I deserved. AT&T messed up the bill – not me.

As for the Hilton, I would not have thought better of them if they did not screw up my room assignment or had coffee packets at the front desk as this is what I would expect the Hilton to do. Is Paris is starting to run the place?

As consumers, we have been conditioned to accept less service and to fight for our rights as customers. Think of the example of pumping gas. We have accepted that we will have to pump our own gas – but only if we pre-pay. We also have to check our own oil and clean our own windshields. This was not always the case. All of this used to be done by the gas station attendant.

Look At Your Operations
Do you have any of those silly procedures that may be easier for you, but are annoying to your customers? Look around, notice facial expressions of your customers. Listen to your employees and asked them what your customers are saying about you.

"We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make." -Marion Wright Edelman


Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and President of the Children's Defense Fund, was the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar. Marian Wright Edelman has published her ideas in several books. The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours was a surprising success.


Thanks for reading the McKenzie Mailer. Stay cool this summer and let us know what we can do to help you with any and all of your Human Resources needs.


Bob McKenzie



June 2010
Social Networking – Be Careful out There
April 2010
Is That a Light in The Tunnel?
January 2010
What's Your Theme Song?
December 2009
2009 Was Definitely a Murphy Year
August 2009
Swine Flu Preparations - Knowledge of Risk is the Best Course of Action
July 2009
Are Rising Healthcare Costs Making You Sick?
June 2009
Diversity – Who Cares?
May 2009
Why the Huge Increase in Discrimination Charges?
April 2009
EEOC Charges at a Record High
March 2009
Eaten Any Brains Lately??
February 2009
Just Trying to Keep Up with All of the Changes
January 2009
Compliance Update Handbooks Need Updating Too
December 2008
Employee Free Choice Act – Not a Free Choice at All
November 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act Clarified
October 2008
Effective Handbooks Save Time and Money
September 2008
Negating the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism
August 2008
What's Your People Plan
July 2008
Human Resources Strange But True People Stories
June 2008
HR Compliance Issues at the Forefront
May 2008
Performance Management Never Stops
April 2008
Don’t Make Tough Times Tougher
March 2008
What Ever Happened to the Personal Touch?
December 2007
It's That Time of Year Again
November 2007
HR Hot Topic #3 - Immigration
September 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #2 - Controlling the Cost of Medical Benefits
August 2007 -
HR Hot Topic #1 Recruitment and Retention
June 2007 -
Strategic Human Resources is Not an Oxymoron
May 2007 -
Is It Really a Hostile Work Environment?
April 2007 -
What happens after a new employee is hired?
March 2007 -
February 2007 -
January 2007 -
Discrimination & Harassment
December 2006 -
October 2006 -
The Why Label Generation Y?
September 2006 -
The World of Recruitment Has Changed
August 2006 -
Keep Your "A" Players
July 2006 -
Traits of a High Performance Workplace
June 2006 -
Is a Mediocre Employee Better Than No Employee?
May 2006 -
The Compliance Vultures are Circling – Are You Prepared?
April 2006 -
Is Administrivia Keeping HR from Getting a Seat at the Table?
March 2006 -
Agreeing to Disagree or Avoiding the Subject
February 2006 -
Happy Valentine's Day
January 2006 -
Be a Talent Magnet and a Talent Utilizer