I’ve blogged several times about poor, frustrating customer service experiences. They often result in a lot of wasted time. Usually the resolution feels unsatisfactory or anti-climatic. This is likely because it takes so much effort to get to the outcome.
Positive experiences, by contrast, are resolved instantly and seamlessly. The unexpected and gratifying results often surprise me.
Recently, I needed to order a replacement piece for a water bottle. I couldn’t find it on the company’s website. I photographed the part and attached it to a good old fashioned email inquiring how I could order one.
The reply came twelve days later. I learned the name of the replacement is a “collar.” I also learned the company was presently out of stock, but had a few extra. They offered to send me one, for free! All of a sudden the slow, response time became an afterthought. I replied with my address. The following day the piece was in the mail.
A few weeks ago I ordered some new underwear from a new company in the States. It’s always risky to order underwear from a new company without seeing it. Despite the costly shipping fees, I took the chance. When it arrived, I could tell it was the wrong size even without opening the packages. I felt irritated about the mistake because I used a tape measurer to check with their sizing chart. All I could think about was the effort and cost of returning everything.
I contacted the company, yup, through email. They responded the same day with an offer to replace everything, for free! The order was small, so apparently not worth their time and effort to handle the exchange either. Before confirming the new size, I perused the comments section on their website. Comments seemed divided between those that had a perfect fit, or the same issue as me where the size was too big.
Last year I noticed a lot of wear and tear on a wooden toy I like. I contacted the company to learn more about caring for the toy to prolong its life. It’s at least ten years old. Again, I reached out through email and attached pictures of the damage. Surprisingly, the company offered to send me a new one. Just like that! I wasn’t even complaining. Perhaps good customer service also depends on being a good customer.