As I type, by the edge of the Liffey, Sharon and I have just finished another enjoyable day discussing customer care, service and engagement at the CCA Customer Engagement Network in Dublin. I love this city. We've been in the company of people from AIB, South Western (BPO), Tesco Bank, ACCA, MBNA and Gas Networks Ireland who hosted the day and fed us wonderfully. Everyone around the table is passionate about customers and constantly striving to raise the bar and give customers the best possible service.

The questions that arise over and over again are 'how do we know what best possible looks like for our customers' and'how are we doing in relation to our peers?'

I left Gas Networks Ireland offices with my ears ringing with praise for one company that seems to have the answer to the first question. Put simply they put their customers first. And everyone's talking about The City Bin Co. 

The City Bin Co call themselves a customer service company that collects bins. Now sometimes people make themselves hostage to fortune with extravagant tag lines like that but it seems The City Bin Co is walking the walk.

If you want a job with them as a driver they don't want you. They want customer service people who can drive a truck. Imagine you forget to put your bin out on bin day. A City Bin Co customer service person will ring your doorbell to remind you and wait til the bin is ready to be emptied into the truck he or she just happens to be driving.

Jennifer at Gas Networks Ireland is so impressed with this and other examples of great, personalised service, that she's telling colleagues, friends and neighbours who are switching to The City Bin Co. I might tell a few people myself.

On the other hand my other half has just phoned in high dudgeon. Two weeks later, the office desks he ordered arrived on Tuesday with the wrong legs. He's been ringing them ever since getting no where. Now the firm has asked him to send pictures of the wrong legs and won't deliver the right legs until Monday. The customer in that transaction is having to make an awful lot of effort to get things sorted out, three weeks on still has no desks and is now telling anyone who'll listen never to place an order.

You know who you are! Sort it! And by the way The City Bin Co is coming to collect your desks with their wrong legs tomorrow.