The experience you have with customer service can make or break your relationship with a business. I have been known to lose my temper whilst on the phone with a computer. Usually, by the time I get to a live representative, I've hit my limit. I have tried to make a real effort in being more compassionate to the people around me. With this little adjustment in my attitude, along with the most genius App ever invented - FastCustomer - I was able to have a semi-sucessful Get-Things-Done day.
So, here's the story. I have two beautiful handbags that I love very much. The first one I bought back in November 2011 from Dillard's, as a birthday present from my mom. The second I recently purchased from DSW as a You'll-Get-Through-This present to myself (more on that later). I have an issue with each of them that required me to call customer service.
The bag from Dillard's is a rich tan, buttery leather, structured handbag. It has a gold lock on the front. The lock became unattached to the handbag itself, and it skews aesthetics of the bag. I still had the receipt, but I purchased the bag on clearance. I knew in the back of my mind that Dillard's would not be able to have the bag returned, due to the time passed and it having been purchased on clearance. But, I was hoping they would direct me to the manufacturer of the bag and maybe they would be able to repair it. Getting through to customer service was not difficult. But, I was informed that there was nothing they could do. The brand name of the bag was, unbeknownst to me, a Dillard's brand. The representative said that if it were a different brand, she would encourage me to call the manufacturer. Unfortunately, it was a Dillard's brand, and purchased at Dillard's. There was nothing they could do about it.
What a bummer. I feel as though Dillard's should be just as responsible for the quality of their brand of merchandise as the unaffiliated brands they carry. But who am I to say? The representative was very polite, but I was disappointed with the pride Dillard's took in their quality control.
The newest bag - the one from DSW - had nothing wrong with the craftmanship. I had an issue with purchasing it. It was love at first sight. I saw the bag from across the room and ran (in slow motion, I'm sure) towards it. When I finally was able to hold its braided stitching in my hands, I looked for a price tag. Alas, no price tag. There was not a single other like it. I took it to the register and told the gentleman my problem. He didn't seem to have a clue what to do, so he called his manager over. As he explained the problem to her, she quickly headed for the handbag section to find another of its kind. "There isn't another one like it, I already checked", I threw out. She turned around and came back, looked at the purse for about 1 second and declared, "either $59 or $69. Do $69." With that, she was gone. I was slightly taken aback at her offering two prices, then immediately choosing the higher one. But, I did love that bag.
I got home that evening and looked it up online. $59.99.
Now, I know that $10 is not a lot of money. But, I am not the kind of person that can just spare $10 here and there. And more importantly, I was disappointed in how the manager handled the situation. So, I called customer service. I got to an agent quickly and she was very courteous. I explained that I was not angry, I just wanted some advice on how to handle the situation. She had the problem sorted out in a matter of minutes. I must return my purchased bag to the store, and get the full $69 back on my card. In the meantime, the agent charged my card for another bag to be shipped to me overnight. She gave me the bag at $10 off the advertised price of $59, and the overnight shipping was complementary. How much better can it get?
Overall, most companies do try to go above and beyond to make their customers satisfied. I feel like that is an important part of running a successful business. Every now and then you'll run into a company that seems to only be searching for a way to cheat you out of your money (AT&T, cough cough). But, as long as you treat your customer service representatives with respect and compassion, you'll have a good experience.
Have you had any horrible/wonderful customer service experiences? Leave a comment and tell me about them!