One of my pet peeves with the retail world today is that many companies have thrown customer service to the wayside. I remember a time when the saying “The Customer Is Always Right” actually meant something. I find these days that companies put more effort into making it difficult for customers to deal with defective products or issues, rather than build customer support and loyalty.
Say you purchase a $85 product and within 3 months it stops working under normal use. You bring the broken product back to the store you purchased and they tell you that you will need to call the manufacturer because it’s been past 30 days. Ok…so, you call the manufacturer. You get that lovely automated voice system that takes you 10 minutes to navigate. Then you get to talk to a bored customer service representative who tells you to send the product, receipt and warranty card that came in the original packaging back to them. Oh, you don’t have the warranty card? Sorry….you are out of luck. You tell the person you have the dated receipt. Now the person gets annoyed and frustrated with you. You ask to speak to a manager. You get transferred into the hold system for 15 minutes listening to horrible music and plugs on how great their products are. Hmmmm…..then, you get cut off and have to start back at square one. When you finally get to speak to a manager, maybe you have put in enough effort to get some resolve, or maybe not. It’s a toss up really.
Sound familiar? I’m sure. It seems to be commonplace these days. Honestly, whenever I call a company with an issue, I prepare myself for the frustration before I pick up the phone.
Every once in a while a company surprises me by treating me like I actually matter to them. When that happens I will tell everyone and anyone who will listen about my experience and I become a super loyal customer. You would think that most companies want this and would invest in their customer support, wouldn’t you? I think it sells more and costs less than advertising…..but hey, what do I know?
Today I want to tell you about experiences I had with two larger companies that I’ve dealt with recently that have proved themselves pros at customer service and have won my loyalty, and perhaps will win yours too.
A while back I purchased a Ninja Kitchen Blender. I seriously love the thing, but about 5 months in it just stopped working. Since I spent over $100 on it, I wasn’t in a rush to just go out and purchase a replacement. So I prepared myself for the battle and called their customer service department. The woman I spoke to asked me what happened and I explained that the motor just stopped. She asked which model I had, and when I purchased it. I didn’t have the receipt so I was sure this is where the problem would begin. I told her that I purchased it about 5 months prior but didn’t have the receipt. The next words out of her mouth threw me….”OK, I’m sorry that happened and I will have a replacement base sent out to you via UPS on our next business day, can I have your shipping address?” Huh? Really? Um…Ok. I thought, ok, there is a catch. She’s going to ask me for my credit card number so they can charge me for the shipping and or replacement part. But guess what, they never did. Within an hour of getting off the the phone there was an email in my inbox with a UPS tracking number for my replacement.
Hurrah for Euro-Pro! I loved my Ninja before this happened, can I tell you how much more I love it now? I tell everyone about how great the blender is, and even better how awesome their customer service is.
I have used professional blow dryers for over 15 years. The last one I purchased was a Supersolano 1875 Watt Ceramic Toumaline Dryer I bought about 5 years ago. I love the blow dryer and almost cried when one day last week it stopped working. I was ready to purchase a new one from Amazon as I knew it would be well out of warranty, but for whatever reason I thought I’d check out their website first. I was shocked to find that Solano offers repair services for any of their products for a flat fee of $30. You just fill out the form, it automates an RMA for you, and you ship out your broken product with a check. Once they receive it, they promise to fix it and get it back out to you within 48 hours. Ha! No way!
So I packed up my broken blow dryer and shipped it to them. Within 5 days from me sending it out, I received the email notification that the blow dryer was fixed and shipped back out via Fed Ex with a tracking number. Whoa! My beloved blow dryer was fixed for $30. A savings of over $50 if I had to purchase a new one.
I sure wish more companies would figure out that customer service is the key to brand loyalty. I much rather pay more and give my business to a company who stands behind their products and treats their customers with respect than save a few dollars and buy something from a company who is just interested in making the initial sale.