Happy birthday to my oldest! He’s a handsome, good soul, and the source of his mother’s pride.
It never fails. When you can least deal with it, something is going to need to be dealt with. That goes for work and now mattress delivery.
I paid for it – the delivery. I scheduled it. I waited. No mattress. Since the delivery was to be between 5 -9 pm, I decided that it wasn’t coming when 9:15 rolled around. So I opted to call the store in the morning.
No need. They called me. I can’t even begin to explain the amount of confusion the man on the phone was experiencing. He had a mattress set in his office with my name on it, yet he had a delivery confirmation from his delivery company saying my husband signed for it. And here I was saying it had never arrived.
Apparently this guy isn’t very good at triage because he couldn’t see that the facts were what he should have been paying attention to. Clearly, the mattress wasn’t delivered (it was sitting in front of him). Clearly, the customer is wondering where the hell it is. Clearly, the delivery people screwed up. End of story, right? Oh, ye of too much faith….
He actually asked me why I hadn’t called the store to ask where it was. Um, because you’re not open yet (he called at 9:20- they open at 10). And because the chances of getting someone at that service desk at 9:30 pm is nearly impossible. So he decided he had to call the delivery company and talk to them.
Two hours later, we get a call back. The delivery company is still insisting it was delivered, but by now the store personnel aren’t buying that story. They rescheduled delivery for last night. And they gave us direct extension numbers so we could easily check with the store to make sure it’s been picked up for delivery. It arrived yesterday at five, one full day after it was promised.
I tell you all this not to bore you, but to point out how a little customer service can go a long way. The gent at the store was cordial – confused, but cordial. And when we got the call back, it was obvious they were rooting for us, not for their delivery company. Since I’m writing an article about outsourced services at the moment (how ironic), it stands out to me just how quickly things can deteriorate for customers when the companies they buy from don’t/can’t manage their suppliers.
As writers, we’re lucky. We have a shorter line going from us to our customers. However, we can still screw it up if we’re not paying attention. Here’s how to please your customers and show you care:
Put customers first. Always. If you’ve ever had to stand in line and be ignored while sales clerks carry on conversations with coworkers or you lodge a complaint and they try telling you how it’s your fault, you know that even a smidgen of concern from a business can go a long way. Conduct your business dealings with one thought – how it will impact your customer and how you can make and keep them happy.
Don’t promise if you can’t deliver. The mistake this company made was promising same-day delivery. Here I sit two days later… If you think there’s a chance you’ll miss that deadline, say so as soon as you can.
Answer them. Don’t avoid problems by letting them go to voice mail. Call them back, reply to their emails, and let them know they matter.
Fix it. Even the best situations come with issues. Instead of wasting time defending yourself or trying to affix blame to someone or something, apologize. Then fix it.
Do unto others. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you were the one with the concern or upset, how would you like it to be handled?
How do you make customers happy? When was the last time you had a bad customer experience? When was the last time you had a good one?