Customer Service (or lack thereof)

The poor service I receive consistently is astounding to me.  If it was only a few places, I’d just go somewhere else — somewhere that actually shows that they value their customers.  But I can’t seem to get away from it.  It’s everywhere.  It’s become the norm.  Good service (which ought to be the standard) has become the exception to the rule.  

Just now I was on the phone with one of the print companies we work with, trying to get an issue resolved.  We ordered some marketing materials and had them shipped to a tradeshow.  The hotel we shipped the package to refused delivery, and it was returned to the printer.  First of all, they didn’t notify me that this had happened — I found out when I went to track the package several days after it had already been received by the printer.  Strike one.  

I called, just a few minutes ago, to have them ship the package to our offices, and was on hold off-and-on for about 20 minutes.  Finally, after the fifth or sixth time the same person put me on hold, she informed me that we would need to pay for the shipping.  A grand total of $9.47.  

I couldn’t believe that she wouldn’t just eat the less than $10 and make my day in the process.  I had already been on the phone over 15 minutes.  I’ve spent thousands of dollars on print orders with them over the last six months.  I had planned on order future project from them because of the ease of process (as long as everything goes perfect, apparently).  

Rather than say, “Sorry for the inconvenience, we’ll cover the shipping charges to you.  Have a great day,” she risks losing our business . . . for less than $10.  Strike two.  

Some people just don’t get it.  When I told her of my frustration, she didn’t have a clue.  She was just doing what she had been told to do without thinking, “How can wow this customer?”  She said she’s mention the incident to management.  I doubt I’ll ever hear anything more about it.  We’ll see.  

If you have people servicing customers in your business, make sure they not only know how to handle things properly, but that they’re enabled and empowered to do things that will maintain your customers’ trust and business.  It’s the lifeblood of your company . . . especially in this changing economy.

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