Hello, Divine Ones!
Today, I had an interesting experience with two different companies … as their client. The experiences were so completely opposite one another, I thought I’d share them here, as an example of true Divine client care.
Company A is the company from whom I recently bought a beautiful $500 filing cabinet. It is a gorgeous white wood 4-drawer piece of furniture, and I thought about getting it for several months before I ever decided to get it. Finally, I decided to gift it to myself for my birthday.
Company B is the company from whom I purchased a $100 gel pad floor mat for my feet to stand on while working at my computer (in purple, no less!).
So here’s the story: my filing cabinet took over two weeks to be delivered. I was so excited to open up the box and see what was inside. Damn. It was damaged. And put together in a bit of a funky way. (The picture on the right is what it’s supposed to look like.)
I debated sending it back, or just seeing if it could be fixed. I mean, the thing weighs about 150 lbs. It’s not a light-weight thing! To repackage it and get it shipped back was just daunting. And who knew how long it would be before I could get another? And if I got another, would it be damaged, too? Would it be worth the hassle of returning it?
Oh, my word, the questions, the questions.
I decided to give them a call to see what could be done about it. I had taken pictures so I could send them to the company if they needed them for clarification. The conversation went something like this.
“Hi, I ordered a filing cabinet (insert description and order number here) and it arrived damaged. In addition, when they put it together, there are gaps in places there shouldn’t be and I honestly don’t know what can be done to fix it. I have pictures if you need to see them.”
“Do you still have the packaging?”
“No, we didn’t notice the damage until we had already taken it out of the packaging and gotten rid of it. Do you have someone who can package it for us?”
“No, we sure don’t, but we can have the shipping company come and get it without it being packaged. Let’s send you another one, and we’ll just get that one.”
“Yes, since it’s damaged, we’ll just pick it up … Hmmm, we don’t have another of these filing cabinets in stock at all, and we may not get them in again for some time. Here’s what we’ll do. Why don’t you keep the filing cabinet and we’ll just reimburse you the cost of it for your trouble. You can donate the cabinet or keep it – whichever you prefer. When another one comes in, you can always order it then. I’m sorry for your trouble. Will that work for you?”
I was astonished at the level of client care, and said as much. I thanked her and got off the phone, stunned.
Later in the day, I decided to order the standing mat for when I stand at the computer. I found one I liked and while searching on the website of the company, was offered a 15% discount for giving them my email. I decided to do that since 15% of $100 was $15, which was a nice discount. Plus, the company offered free shipping on orders over $100.
“Cool,” I thought. “I’ll get my mat for $85” (more than double what I planned to spend, but worth it, since it would support my feet, legs and back when I stood up at my computer).
I tried to place my order, but the company’s website only allowed me to use one discount.
“Odd,” I thought. “Surely they would be separate. My order is over $100, which qualifies for free shipping, and the coupon was for giving them my email.” But I couldn’t figure out how to use both.
I called the company.
“Nope, you can only use one.”
“Well, why do you have both offered then? That feels a bit like a bait and switch to me. The mat is just over $100 – enough to qualify for the free shipping, and the shipping is $15.95. If I take the 10% discount, you add back the $15.95 for shipping. Or I take the free shipping but lose the 15% discount, which you offered to me for my first order.” I told her.
“I’m sorry, but we can’t give you both discounts.”
“Why not? You offer both.” (My heels were beginning to dig in. I hate it when a company does this, and hate it even more when their customer service is so lame.)
“Our system only allows you to have one at a time.”
“You can’t override the system to serve a customer -a brand new one at that?”
“No, I’m sorry.”
“Is there someone who can?”
“Just a minute. Let me get my supervisor.”
Seriously, this went on with FOUR people! Finally, the fourth person (after asking HER supervisor, said “Yes, we can do that. We don’t normally do that, but we don’t want to lose you as a customer, so we’ll do that.”
All for $15.
Now, I will say that I did that all (with her) for the $15. But for me, it wasn’t only the $15. It was the principle of the thing. It was the ridiculousness of someone who said “The system can’t do that.”
Oh really? Well, who wrote the system? Who operates the system? Does The System run you?
After my experience with Company A, I was willing to walk away from Company B. As I was waiting for each person to talk with their supervisor, I searched online to find another company who sold a similar mat (especially in purple!) and there were NONE! So I really didn’t have another source and I’d have to go with black or brown or grey if I couldn’t work this out with the company. Ick. I wanted the purple.
But what I really wanted was to be heard by the company and to not be given the “company line.”
Afterward, as I reflected on this experience, I compared my experiences with these two companies. I am completely willing to do business with Company A again, but VERY hesitant to go near Company B.
All because of their customer service.
How you take care of your clients makes a huge difference in your business. Remember: Your clients are your source of income. Care for them well.