My son recently celebrated his 21st birthday. He is going to school 7 hours away, but since I remember it being an important milestone for me, my wife and I wanted to make it a particularly special day for him. In lieu of driving to meet him (which might of precluded him from being with his friends), we tried to make is memorable from afar. We bought him a couple gifts that we knew he’d love and my wife baked and sent his favorite cookies.
Unfortunately, both the gifts we bought weren’t quite right. Both needed to be returned, and I dreaded the process I’d be facing. Why? Well…I like to buy nice stuff from discount websites. Name brands? Yes. Quality merchandise? Absolutely! I’m usually safe buying from those online retailers as long as I never have to return anything. When I DO have a problem, however, I usually figure out why the prices were low – the customer service is terrible.
One of the gifts I bought was the wrong size, so I nervously wrote the customer service department looking to exchange the item. (I was pretty convinced that they would NEVER return the money they already received from me!) Here is the response I received:
I do apologize, at this time we do not have a size 10.5 in stock for these shoes. Attached you will find the prepaid label to have the shoes returned. If there is anything else I can help you with please let me know.
What? No shaming or request for a restocking fee? They didn’t even ask me to pay the return shipping! Here was my response:
I have enjoyed buying from your company, and your quick response validates my trust! We’ll be shopping with you again, soon. Have a great weekend!
Everyone Wins in the Long-Term
OPIN is a software development and consulting company. Companies that work in these two areas often carry a reputation of treating customers like ATM machines. Customers are expected to keep paying invoices for ambiguous services with no deliverables and no accountability. If you let those companies in the front door, they will likely let their friends in the back door, creating dependencies that insure you’ll have trouble getting rid of them. Ever.
It’s our desire to turn the tide in our industry. Are we perfect? Of course not. Recently we had an interaction with a rare dissatisfied customer that was difficult for us and for them, but though both sides had some culpability, we went out of our way to serve the customer and make things right. It’s our hope that the relationship we built with them over 20 years of working together will be restored by taking a long-term approach to customer service.
Is your business talking a long-term approach to customer service? Are you building a business built on integrity, trust, character and a customer-first philosophy? The company that offered to refund my money with no hassle has a customer for life. How much is that worth in today’s competitive world?