When there’s a problem involving a customer…
Today I’m on a rant about an order I placed last week.
It was for a specialty food item that had to be shipped on dry ice, so they only ship on Mondays. That was fine, because the man assured me that it would arrive on Thursday.
The fact that he told me the order would be here on Thursday was the deciding factor in spending way more than I personally think this item was worth. It was a special birthday treat for a dear friend who will turn 83 tomorrow. (Thursday)
Today I realized I hadn’t gotten a shipment notification, so I called the company. The man who answered said “Oh, you were next on my list to call.”
It seems they had a problem…
An employee left the box of dry ice open and it all evaporated, so they were out and unable to ship the product on Monday as scheduled.
This is Wednesday – it was late afternoon when I called. Certainly they knew on Monday that they weren’t sending the shipment. Why didn’t they let me know immediately?
Had they called me on Monday I would have had time to find the item elsewhere or to dream up some other special treat. I would have been disappointed, but I wouldn’t have been angry.
I wouldn’t have made the decision that I will never order from them again.
But they didn’t. My bet is that if I hadn’t called, I would not yet know that the shipment isn’t going to arrive. On Friday, when the angry calls started to come in, I’ll bet they’d have all gone to voice mail.
Whatever their reason, they didn’t want to tell me the bad news. And that cost them my business – now and in the future.
After discussing the situation with my husband tonight, tomorrow I’m going to call and cancel the order entirely. Obviously, we have to go shopping and come up with a “Plan B” sometime before the party tomorrow evening.
I expect I wasn’t the only one – the man said there were a dozen or so orders that didn’t go out. (As if it was going to make me feel better to know I wasn’t alone in my frustration.)
There is a customer service lesson in this: If there’s a problem, call your customer immediately.
They might be upset, they might be disappointed, but they won’t be angry with you for stringing them along, letting them believe all was well when it wasn’t well at all.