Just recently I’ve experienced two kinds of customer service.  One of which made me feel valued and the other.. well I may has well not have existed.  I bought two very different gifts but spent about the same online and had issues with both orders, which is out of the ordinary as I do about 75% of my shopping online and have never had an issue before.  I wanted to share how well chosen words can make a difference between feeling valued and completely UN-valued.

Lets start with the bad.  Over 3 months ago I ordered about five books from a well known online retailer.  I won’t name and shame them but I will say it wasn’t Amazon.  This website tempted me with cheap books and free shipping.  Being a bookworm I awaited my purchases eagerly.  One week goes by, then two then a whole month with no deliveries.  I emailed the website as they don’t display a phone number, no reply.  I emailed them again and got a standard reply of “we are looking into it” in a curt manner as if I was harassing them.  No follow up email letting me know the status for over a week.  Then I receive an email saying sorry the delivery and billing addresses had become muddled (no fault of my own) and that I was the one who had to wait for them to be returned from the post office to be re-sent out. No apology no offer of refund and no timeline of resolution.

I'm spending my hard earned money with you people!!

I was slightly miffed that the company had my money, and that I was the one who had to wait for however long  for my books to be returned and then resent out.  Surely they could just resend them and wait for the returns to their warehouse? No. I received  nothing.  Month two comes and goes and month three arrives.  I send another livid email.  No reply,  and so I send another.  Month three was well and truly here and still nothing. No refund and no books.  I send another long email demanding my money be refunded in 5 working days or I will take to my blog and website to name and shame the company and publish the rude and unsatisfactory replies from their customer service team.  Within three days I suddenly had all my books.  Will I order from them again.  Not a chance.

Now for the good news story.  My sister had a baby boy.  With my family being in the UK I ordered a beautiful baby boy gift basket for delivery.  Imagine the awkwardness when my sister opened the basket in the hospital to reveal a pink baby girl basket!!! Yes, your sister who is living it up in Sydney got the sex of her little sisters baby wrong!  Luckily my sister knows me better than that.  I sent an email to www.newbabygiftboxes.co.uk  letting them know of the mix up.  Within 24hours the correct box had been sent out along with some extras.  I received a personal email from the Head of Communications for  the company firstly apologising and explaining that although mistakes happen they will do their utmost to rectify it. Which they did.

I appreciated the honesty, the speed it took to rectify the problem and within 24hrs my sister had a very cute baby gift box for her newborn son.  See the difference?

The lesson I learnt?  If you want to feel like a person and not a number hunt out the smaller companies.  It’s also much easier to complain than it is to thank someone for great customer service.  If you receive great service share it!  If you’re on the other end, take a little time to really personalise an email or letter, it really makes a huge difference to the person receiving it.