Coming from a history of working in retail and dealing with the public one of the things I learned early on is that the customer is always right. Sometimes a small loss can lead to a great gain. You never know who you’re dealing with or who they know.
I was contacted by a very reputable and loyal follower of my writings. She shared her experience with me and immediately my reporter instincts kicked in. I saw this as a opportunity to write this article as what not to do in customer relations as well as fore warning for future customers of this business. She proceeded to share that she had never gone to this business before, so this was her first and last experience.
The thing that seemed to puzzle me the most is why would they be so difficult toward her? Had they concluded they didn’t care for her future business if so why? It somewhat sounds like some type of discrimination, or is this how they do all their customers?
She was preparing for a family event at her home and wanted it to be uninterrupted by her dog, she merely wanted to board him for the night. She had taken the time to call around and find a place that would be open for pickup on Sunday. Imagine her zeal when she thought she had found such a place and would be able to enjoy her event know she could get her dog the next day after church services.
After dropping her dog off on Saturday and getting confirmation that he could be picked up by 5:30 on Sunday she felt as ease. Until she arrived around 3:00pm on Sunday to find them closed, very disappointed recalling the conversation with the associate she wondered why they closed and didn’t inform her to come earlier or even notify her that they wouldn’t be there. She was almost certain that all would be easily cleared up on Monday when they reopened.
To her complete surprise they not only didn’t apologize for the mix up, they charged her for an extra day and stated that she was to pick him up exactly at 5:30pm on Sunday. Therefore she missed the pickup time so she must pay the additional charge. She clearly explained that she was not informed that she could get her dog at 5:30pm only but that the associate merely stated by 5:30, hoping that this would help them rectify this error quickly. To make a long story short, no concessions were made neither was anything done to cause the customer to feel that she was an important and welcomed client. She in fact felt humiliated and slightly defeated by the attitude and lack of customer satisfaction etiquette.
Even after pointing out the fact that no mention of the point of time pickup is mentioned on the business with business hours nor on the document of which she was required to sign before leaving her dog, her statement was completely disregarded. She was merely informed that the document doesn’t even mention Sunday because it was being done as an extra courtesy. All of this was rather alarming to me the extent they would go through in disagreeing with a customer who was merely misinformed by the associate. The extra charge could have been eliminated or they could even have offered a discount on her next visit as a way of letting her know her business was valued and they were apologetic about the misunderstanding .
After looking over the document I came to the conclusion that clearly a more definitive statement needs to be included to avoid any future misunderstandings with new customers. I am sure that almost all of their returning customers are well aware of their Sundays schedule, but unless they don’t care for new customer something should be done. I also think that the right thing to do toward this customer has been completely overlooked. Possibly some further investigation could help determine why?
“The Customer is Always Right”
HARRY GORDON SELFRIDGE
This age old adage is heralded by thousands of customer service reps and business owners alike, and for good reason: customers ultimately pay the bills and pay the salaries. Without customers, there IS no business! www.customerservicepoint.com
The customer is always rightwww.phrases.org
Meaning = The trading policy that states a company’s keenness to be seen to put the customer first.
I do understand that there are times when you come in contact with a difficult and relentless customers and concessions only feed the ill attitude.
This particular customer has a outstanding customer relations history and degrees as an HR. She is a youth pastor and valued church member. She works for a well known Entertainment Producer and she lives a very low key life, She was not willing to throw names around but she knows first hand that sometimes you must compromise your feeling to make sure that your clients feel appreciated and totally satisfied when they are paying you their money. In the attempt to notify the public of the apparent values of this company we hope that this will be a teachable moment for it’s employees.
This article hopefully will open the lines of communication for better customer satisfaction relations!